Counterfeiting is not an art.
I struggled today with which picture to post for my picture a day. I had one and then something happened while shopping with my friend. She paid for a nose ring with a twenty dollar bill. The sales lady refused to accept the twenty dollar bill. I of course took pictures of it with my phone. I am a photographer what else would I have done? Within a minute security was there. It was a fake. The security guards said the police needed to be contacted. No sooner did we turn around when the police officer was there. Things happened very fast.
Things like an escort through the mall, mall security in front of us and police behind us. Once we got to security’s department we were greeted by a detective. The detective inferred that we might be meeting a secret service agent today. Our background checks came back within three to four minutes. This was no traffic stop.
I am going to tackle the points of fact first then I have some other thoughts. The facts are as follows. Photographing real money is illegal. It is done anyway. This picture is not of a real twenty. It is clearly marked as a fake. Counterfeiting is bigger than I thought. It is taken seriously. You can never know how seriously until something like this happen. You are guilty until they can determine you are not. It is illegal to keep fake money once you know it is counterfeit. You must turn it over. My friend and I are probably on a list somewhere now.
I struggled because of the money issue, the legal issues and I hate to shine light on some things. However it WAS the picture of the day. We think as photographers that we are so observant. We have trained eyes. We are always looking for the shot. I personally am always prepared one way or the other for that shot. Then this happened. Neither of us ever noticed a thing about that twenty. We had to really really look at that twenty to see it. (No security strip, no water mark and uneven edges) Many of the things I take pictures of are everyday things. What am I missing? I like to think I really look. When something as everyday as a twenty dollar bill gets past me I have to ask what else I am missing.