Scammers pass fake cash at Denver woman's yard sale

DENVER - Are you planning a yard sale to get rid of a few things this spring? If you are, watch out for fake cash. Counterfeit money was used at two different sales last weekend. The Secret Service is now investigating.

One Denver woman unknowingly gave away the money she's worked hard to bring in.

Moving is hard enough.

"I'm a single mom with two little boys," Keavy Fowler said.

When you're taken advantage of it doesn't make it easier. Last weekend, Fowler held a yard sale outside her home in Washington Park.

"He said, 'oh no, I only have a $100 bill. Can you break a $100?'" Fowler recalled.

She said two men seemed to take a lot of time in her front yard before finally pulling out a $100 bill to pay for a pair of soccer cleats and shin guards. It was only $10 worth of soccer gear.

"When someone says can I have change, I'm just giving them change as fast as I can," Fowler said.

She gave the men $90 back. It didn't seem odd until later. When Fowler went to deposit the money at her bank, they wouldn't take the large bill.

"[The teller] said, 'ma'am, this $100 is not real,'" Fowler said.

Wells Fargo tells 9NEWS the bill was darker in color and had a different texture than a real $100 bill. They spotted it right away.

"I didn't examine it to that extent," Fowler said. "I just looked at it."

A similar bad bill was passed over at a yard sale in Aurora. Local banks and law enforcement commonly hand the questionable cash over to the Secret Service, which investigates counterfeit claims.

This is a popular time of year for garage or estate sales. Ads are popping up across the internet. Fowler sent out a warning through one social site telling others like her to watch out.

She wasn't shy to share a similar message with 9NEWS, hoping those who scammed her are listening.

"I hope you get caught. I hope you pay for what you did," Fowler said. "You know, karma can sometimes bite you."

To pick out fake money, feel it to see if the texture is normal. Compare the bill with another one of the same denomination\ and hold it up to the light to see if it has the same security features as an authentic bill.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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