Ever wonder why merchants so often double-check those $20 bills you try to spend?
Olivette police got a report this month of an unknown man trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill to buy gas at a local service station.
The report, included in the latest edition of the department's crime report online, occurred on Nov. 11 in the 9300 block of Olive Boulevard. The only gas station in that block is the Mobil Station at 9371 Olive Blvd.
The U.S. Secret Service, which is charged with protecting the nation's money supply from fakery, says on its website "counterfeiting of money is one of the oldest crimes in history. It was a serious problem during the 19th century when banks issued their own U.S. currency. At the time of the Civil War, it was estimated that one-third of all currency in circulation was counterfeit."
As it turns out, just a couple of weeks after the Olivette incident, on Nov. 24, someone tried to pass a counterfeit $100 at Old Navy in Ladue.
I found one info-graphic that said the Federal Reserve in Kansas City removes $300,000 in fake bills every year.