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All About the Fake Benjamins

By Matt Wood in News on Oct 27, 2006 12:22PM

chicagoist_200610_funnymoney.jpgCounterfeit $100 bills have been stacking up at bars and restaurants in the Rush and Division and River North areas faster than empty Viagra bottles in their men's rooms on a Friday night. Ala Carte Entertainment, which owns 30 area establishments, says almost $10,000 in phony Benjamins have been passed over the past month. The Secret Service (they do more than protect the President) held a seminar on detecting the funny money at Excalibur Thursday.

Apparently, bars and clubs always get a lot of fake paper, because it's easier to get away with it in darkened, crowded places. Think about how many times you've ordered a drink, dropped the money on the bar and just walked away, though we can't see people doing that with a $100. That's why even though there has been a rash of fake Franklins, $20 is the favorite denomination to counterfeit. Clubs have begun installing black lights and detection pens to try to spot fakes, but a Secret Service agent says the only way to really spot a fake bill is to inspect the paper feel and quality.

Servers are now trained to flag any $100 bill for inspection, so you're on notice Ray Ray. Start cranking out fives and tens or you're going back to the joint.