A user on TikTok has sparked discussion after alleging that a ShopRite location gave her fake money when she asked for cash back.
In a video with over 177,000 views, TikTok user Maggie (@maggieeeeeek) says she went shopping at ShopRite, where she asked for $20 cash back.
Later, she went to pay for something at her child’s school. However, upon counting the money, she discovered something peculiar about the bill the ShopRite had allegedly given her.
“I was like, ‘Wait, why does this look like that?’” she says of the bill. “Then I see this: ‘COPY MONEY.’”
For context, ‘copy money’ or ‘prop money’ is fake currency to be used either as toys, movie props, or in other relevant situations. While it is not illegal to possess, passing it off as real currency can be considered a felony offense or federal crime.
Still, that hasn’t stopped some people from doing so, as numerous other Internet users have noted. One user claimed they accidentally accepted a dollar that read “In Copy We Trust”; another alleged that they accidentally accepted $150 worth of fake money. There was also a user who claimed they received fake money from their employer.
In Maggie’s video, she questions what one is supposed to do in this situation.
“Now what? Like, I bring that back to ShopRite, and I’m like, ‘Oh, you gave this to me last night?’ Are they going to believe me?” she asks. “Am I just beat? Do I try to pass this off to someone else?”
She concludes by saying that she will likely just give the fake money to her child to use as a toy.
@maggieeeeeek ✨ un-lucky girl syndrome ✨ #fyp #fypシ #tiktok #foryoupageofficiall #foryourpage #viral #storytime #momlife ♬ original sound – Maggieekelly
In the comments section, users encouraged Maggie to try to get her money back.
“Bring it to the bank with a receipt or transaction proof and tell them where you got it from. and possible call non-emergency,” claimed a user.
“Girl if they don’t believe you you make a scene tbh that’s ur money and they should pay attention to their money,” shared another. “they can check they’re cameras.”
“As someone who used to work in a cash office… bring your receipt, tell them, and also tell them what time. Let her get in trouble and not you,” declared a third.
According to MyCreditUnion.gov, if one receives a bill they find to be fraudulent, they are not to “return it to the passer.” Instead, they should “Contact your local police department or United States Secret Service field office” and “Surrender the note or coin only to a properly identified police officer or a U.S. Secret Service special agent.”
The Daily Dot reached out to Maggie via email and ShopRite via website contact form.
Update 8:57am CT, Jan. 26, 2023:
In an email to the Daily Dot, Maggie said that she was surprised but happy the video went as viral as it did.
“I’m shocked the video got the traction it did, honestly,” she said. “But I’m glad it did, because I want people to be aware that this is a thing. In the comments people are saying that it has happened to them at different retail stores, fast food, places, etc.”
In general, she says incidents like these can be avoided if one is careful.
“I think that way to avoid this happening to you is to immediately take a detailed look at any bills that you receive,” she explained. “I know it’s not easy and it’s not the first thing on your mind, but it should be, because I still have the bill.”
“I have been afraid to do anything with [the fake bill] because I do not want any conflicts,” she continued. “I have really bad anxiety, and I do not want to cause a ruckus at the store or get the police involved. I know it is important because I do not want to happen to other people so I have been debating on going back to Shoprite and just letting them know.”
As for the commenters who claimed she should return with a receipt, she stated that she no longer has one.
“It’s funny, because as time goes on, the more it is touched, it gets more faded,” she said of the fake bill. “I’m not sure if this bill was printed on another bill and would pass the marker test, but that is another good idea for people to carry a marker with them and when they receive large bills to check them. It is also important to check the bills before you give them to other people because you do not want to be blamed for exchange of counterfeit money.”
“This is actually a really serious crime, and although I do not believe I’ll get in trouble, who knows?” she concluded. “Crazier things have happened.”