Saffron Restaurants reservation Hawaii woman scrubs a $1 bill and tries to pass it off as $100

Hawaii woman scrubs a $1 bill and tries to pass it off as $100


'It's scary what people are doing now': Hawaii woman scrubs a $1 bill and tries to pass it off as $100

‘It’s scary what people are doing now’: Hawaii woman scrubs a $1 bill and tries to pass it off as $100

Maelyn Ramos, a cashier at Ohana Foods in Hilo, Hawaii, suspected something was wrong when a customer handed her a $100 bill for a $15 purchase.

“I did our protocols and procedures, which is to mark the bill with the marker and lift it up to see if it has the black line that all the real money has,” Ramos told KHON2 News. “When she gave me the bill, it looked different than a regular $100.”

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When the customer told Ramos it was an old banknote, she compared it to an old banknote in the store’s tip jar, noting that the real old banknote had more of a yellowish tint. Ramos used a counterfeit banknote detection pen to test the money, but the mark he left behind was yellow, indicating it was real money.

When Ramos lifted the banknote to the light to be sure, she noticed a faded “1” mark in the top corner and faint letters printed on the banknote, and she took out a $1 banknote to compare.

“I realized this is real money, it was a one dollar bill that they had bleached or washed and printed $100 on it,” Ramos said.

“My instincts told me something was wrong, and it’s scary what people are doing now, because a lot of people would have looked at it and said it was real – which I almost did at that moment – but something inside me thought, it doesn’t look good.”

Hawaii police warn of counterfeit $100 bills

In April, state police warned the public about the use of counterfeit $100 bills in East Hawaii. They told KHON2 News that there have been about a dozen cases of this type of counterfeiting in the past month.

“It appears the perpetrators are taking $1 – in another case a $2 bill – and bleaching the ink off and printing over the original currency to make it look like $100,” said police Captain Rio Amon- Wilkins of Hawaii to KHON2 News. “Because it is printed on original US banknotes, the pen still works properly and is not classified as counterfeit.”

Amon-Wilkins says the perpetrators typically buy something small, such as a $5 item, with a counterfeit $100 bill, and receive real money in return.

He notes that this is the first time he has dealt with a case where fraudsters were working with original money that had been washed and reprinted.

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Ramos held the counterfeit money and told the customer to report his incident to the Hawaii Police Department.

She says she saw the woman had a few $20 bills in her wallet and asked her if she would prefer to pay with that, but the woman declined.

“Then it crossed my mind: That’s where she got the $20. She’s giving stores fake $100s to get real money out of it, and she doesn’t want to use the real money,” Ramos explained.

“I’m glad I was able to spot that, and hopefully it will help others.”

3 Ways to Stretch Your Dollar (Legally).

A canceled and reprinted dollar is not worth jail time. There are smarter ways to stretch your spare change.

For example, some platforms let you invest your leftover change from your daily purchases into a diversified portfolio that automatically rebalances as the market changes.

You can also keep your dollars in a high-yield savings account to protect yourself in case of an emergency or unexpected expense. Currently, some high-yield savings accounts offer interest rates of 5% or more.

Or consider a lucrative side hustle, such as redecorating your space and renting out a spare room through Airbnb, selling your old clothes and electronics on a resale platform, or renting out used baby gear that you no longer need.

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This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. It comes without any form of warranty.