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Can a merchant confiscate a counterfeit bill?

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  • Squid
    replied
    Best thing to do is play dumb, and at MOST tell the customer "Sorry, can't accept that bill".

    Always treat the customer like innocent victim, even if your Spider Sense screams otherwise.

    IMO, it would be OK in most cases to quietly accept a suspect bill(s) if the amount isn't too much, and alert management of your suspicions. Then they can use the Bogus Bills as training props, and while the Govt wont be 'buying' them, management might earn Brownie Points with local PD etc by bringing it to their attention, maybe along with pics of who was passing them. MORE than likely the cops or Feds will already know their names, and who knows it might be what finally puts them behind bars. If you do take the bills, call cops AND keep a Chain Of Custody.

    Do what your Client store owner and maybe his insurance would want you to do.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ingio Montoya
    replied
    Originally posted by Consolewatcher View Post
    3. Don't assume that your company will "have your back" if you get into legal trouble for breaking policies.
    I would go so far as to say assume your company DOESN'T have your back

    Leave a comment:


  • Consolewatcher
    replied
    Originally posted by Ingio Montoya View Post

    With all due respect nobody cares what you would say. Unless you're the security consultant for the client and you're helping them establish policy nobody cares about your opinion. And I'm not saying that to be a forum jerk I'm saying that because that's reality. The reality is that as a guard or even a first-line supervisor we don't set policy we do what we're told and in the absence of clear instructions you ask your supervisor what they would have you do.

    That way you're covered. That way WHEN it comes back on you (and it will)you can point to the next guy up to chain and say "I did exactly what he told me to do and here's my documentation"
    I generally agree, though I would add four things that all security guards (and other employees) should keep in mind regarding company/client policies.

    1. Policies cannot supersede the law. Your company/client cannot make illegal things legal.

    2. Don't assume that policies are necessarily legal. Many of them are written by people who are not legal experts and the policies are not vetted by legal experts.

    3. Don't assume that your company will "have your back" if you get into legal trouble for breaking policies.

    4. Don't assume that because x policy appears to be "common sense" that it is fact legal.

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  • Ingio Montoya
    replied
    Originally posted by mrsolenya.vn View Post
    I would say yes. Did the customer know they were handling counterfeit money? If no, advise the customer that their money is counterfeit and to use real currency or a credit/debit card to complete their intended transaction. In addition, advise the customer that the counterfeit currency will stay with the cashier. After all, the customer willingly gave the counterfeit bill to the cashier and/or merchant. If the customer is still not satisfied, advise the customer that a call will be placed to the police. There will always be customer service first, but there can be so many times one can be firm yet polite.
    With all due respect nobody cares what you would say. Unless you're the security consultant for the client and you're helping them establish policy nobody cares about your opinion. And I'm not saying that to be a forum jerk I'm saying that because that's reality. The reality is that as a guard or even a first-line supervisor we don't set policy we do what we're told and in the absence of clear instructions you ask your supervisor what they would have you do.

    That way you're covered. That way WHEN it comes back on you (and it will)you can point to the next guy up to chain and say "I did exactly what he told me to do and here's my documentation"

    Leave a comment:


  • mrsolenya.vn
    replied
    I would say yes. Did the customer know they were handling counterfeit money? If no, advise the customer that their money is counterfeit and to use real currency or a credit/debit card to complete their intended transaction. In addition, advise the customer that the counterfeit currency will stay with the cashier. After all, the customer willingly gave the counterfeit bill to the cashier and/or merchant. If the customer is still not satisfied, advise the customer that a call will be placed to the police. There will always be customer service first, but there can be so many times one can be firm yet polite.

    Leave a comment:


  • Condo Guard
    replied
    Well, in my case the next store may still be within the shopping center, but you're right - I'm actually there to protect the shopping center, not be an LP agent for each and every store.
    Some stores assume "security" means protecting them from theft in their premises. If people are in physical danger, we act; mere theft (or fraud) is strictly "observe, report and document."
    Last edited by Condo Guard; 12-11-2017, 07:55 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ingio Montoya
    replied
    Originally posted by Condo Guard View Post
    The problem with handing it back is they just go to the next store down the row and try again.
    That's very likely but the truth is that's not our concern. What happens in another store is totally outside the scope of our duties

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  • Condo Guard
    replied
    As far as the merchant goes, they can use a pen to authenticate the bill; trained bank tellers can also spot a bad bill and can articulate clearly why. (Same for bouncers - they can spot a fake ID; they don't have to have a certificate or degree in "ID authentication" to turn someone away.)

    As noted, innocent people can get bad money; my question was geared around the people who know the money is bogus. The problem with handing it back is they just go to the next store down the row and try again. I understand your scenarios (obviously as a guard I would not be handling money), but knowing who can do what in a given incident gives the S/O an edge in acting correctly.

    Retail security is new to me. I know my employer's policies and procedures, and I know our local laws. But any knowledge that can give an S/O a clearer understanding of situations is a good thing. In that spirit let's help each other, educate each other and ease up a bit.
    Last edited by Condo Guard; 12-11-2017, 07:06 PM.

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  • Ingio Montoya
    replied
    Originally posted by Soper View Post
    You keep harping about how mean I am,
    No I harp about how stupid you are

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  • Ingio Montoya
    replied
    Originally posted by Soper View Post
    Since I'm LE, and you're not
    No ​​​​​​you're not

    Leave a comment:


  • Soper
    replied
    Since I'm LE, and you're not, you would be the one making the dumbest post. Since guards aren't handling money, the question was general. You are obviously so uninformed about things that I'm amazed you actually have a job.

    You and some other guards on here keep posting such dreck that it exemplifies the term Guard. Your skill level is standing post on a pile of dirt.

    You keep harping about how mean I am, yet the truth hurts, doesn't it. You, squid, and a few others continually spew stupidity on here, and think you are the end-all, be-all of security.

    You're not. You are laughed at all frigging day...

    You our can go now, I'm done with you.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ingio Montoya
    replied
    Originally posted by Soper View Post
    Yep. Seize and notify LE. Do not return it. Let them throw a tantrum. If they spread more of them, AFTER being told, then they can be charged... Let that soak in.
    This is got to be the dumbest thing I've ever read on this form.

    I've never worked Security in a place where taking money from the public was any part of what we did. But I would be willing to bet that for instance if you're security at Walmart they already have a written policy of what you will do if someone tries to pass a counterfeit bill.

    So the proper answer is "You will follow company policy to the letter." OR you contact your supervisor and you let him make the call. OR EVEN BETTER you let the client employee that took the money make the determination what they want to do and you made damn sure you document it

    Leave a comment:


  • Squid
    replied
    Originally posted by Consolewatcher View Post

    You make a very good point. Security guards (and retail workers) are not out to protect the retail industry as a whole from counterfeiting; they're there to protect their store from it. If you see that the money is counterfeit and you pass it back while informing them it's counterfeit (of course, suggesting that they were "innocent" and didn't know it was counterfeit themselves) you're protecting your store from counterfeiting with minimal disruption.
    Around SF most Store Security is there for one thing and one thing only, to protect the store EMPLOYEES.

    I vaguely recall a semi-famous (among guards) case of IIRC a Walgreens guard arresting some guy who was trying to make off with huge grab of pills, and he was fired for making the bust. Policy was "no LP arrests by guards".

    Obviously, seizing customer's currency on the SUSPICION its counterfeit would be way out of bounds, and in SF wouldn't shock me if the guard got charged with armed robbery using the logic that:

    1)Guard had zero legal authority to seize anything or make any determination.

    2)Therefore, even if bills ARE counterfeit, the Guard still committed the crime of Armed Robbery, and for his sentence Court must view it as if he did a Armed Robbery of face value of bills.

    3)This is just like "If your client tells you to take what he says is stolen property out of an employee's open pickup bed YOU would be committing Theft regardless of if client was right".


    Soper, "Yep. Seize and notify LE. Do not return it. Let them throw a tantrum. If they spread more of them, AFTER being told, then they can be charged... Let that soak in."

    Leave a comment:


  • Consolewatcher
    replied
    Originally posted by Squid View Post
    [..]
    Probably the most central part of Security Creed is "You are not cops, you protect CLIENT, not The Public".
    [..]
    You make a very good point. Security guards (and retail workers) are not out to protect the retail industry as a whole from counterfeiting; they're there to protect their store from it. If you see that the money is counterfeit and you pass it back while informing them it's counterfeit (of course, suggesting that they were "innocent" and didn't know it was counterfeit themselves) you're protecting your store from counterfeiting with minimal disruption.

    Leave a comment:


  • Squid
    replied
    Probs are:

    1)SS is not gonna compensate you or back you up if things go south. Neither are the cops, The Fed or anyone else.

    2)Unless you would qualify as a Court recognized expert it is only in your UNQUALIFIED opinion that it MIGHT be Phunny Money. If its so bad you notice it casually, its not gonna go far.

    3)I'm guessing less than 10% of bad bills discovered are discovered while being passed by a guilty person.

    4)Unless you are a bank teller behind armor do you really want to risk a bad reaction when you tell someone you've decided to play Jr G-man and seize their assets? I'm guessing most bad bills are seized from low class, struggling, violent, unbalanced people, and the seizure puts them at risk for stuff like Eviction, etc.

    5)Look at it from their side. Unless they want to wait HOURS (days?) for cops to show up (even then, how many cops are able to detect decent counterfeit?) how do they know you aren't running a scam? No reward for turning in bad bills, for anybody.

    IMO, the best thing to do would be refuse the bill and MAYBE point out your SUSPICIONS. If they react as anything but dumbfounded, CURIOUS and apologetic, THEN call the cops.

    Remember, YOU are not the one who decided to make money easy to counterfeit.

    Probably the most central part of Security Creed is "You are not cops, you protect CLIENT, not The Public".

    My State required training says Security Guards are not allowed to touch stuff when INSPECTING lunch boxes, and we are NOT allowed to physically recover items out of an employee's open pickup bed. IIRC there is minor exception for store merch, but ONLY the merch, nothing else.

    I'd guess your employer's UNDERWRITERS (the real real bosses here) would probably say "if it COULD be real money, and under $500, take the money and relay your suspicions to the accounting dept, and let them set further policy". Store will take the loss, but earn Brownie Points with cops and Govt, and deduct loss.

    It costs a lot of real money when a "scene" happens at checkout, from about dozen diff directions including fuzzy stuff like "how many GOOD shoppers will avoid store in future due to ghetto scene", and lots of risk to the Deep Pocket when their employees start doing Law Enforcement off the reservation stuff.

    In Security, you are just as likely if not more likely to be fired, sued, attacked, imprisoned for doing your job than not doing your job, and UPPER management doesn't want you to "do your job", just look like you MIGHT do it.


    Script for my next bad "caper/heist" movie will be basically:

    a)locate a bunch of bills whose serial numbers can be read.

    b)claim they are counterfeit and you are seizing them to turn over to LEOs. Make a show of taking down #s with reliable witness, etc.

    c)replace seized real money with counterfeit with matching serial #s, since just printing numbers on bills should be easy.

    d)works great except some smart person detects the #s were printed recently, and the bills had been "on ice" for some time prior.

    e)but still uncertain WHO in the chain switched the bills, but now the crooks are in a race to launder their bills.

    Last edited by Squid; 12-08-2017, 03:27 PM.

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