A Madison woman received fake money after selling her computer monitor on Craigslist.
According to a Madison Police Department statement, the woman advertised a like-new monitor for $120 on Craigslist and was contacted by a man who was willing to pay the full price.
She met with the man near her apartment on North Lake Street near Langdon Street so he could buy the monitor from her, the statement said.
MPD spokesperson Joel DeSpain said the suspect paid for the computer with six $20 bills, however, only one was real.
“The real $20 bill was on the top of the stack of money he handed her, so the victim did not notice the fake money initially,” DeSpain said.
DeSpain said the exchange between the suspect and the victim was extremely quick, giving the victim no time to count the money before he left with the monitor.
He said upon giving away the monitor and counting the money, the victim noticed five of the $20 bills did not look like real money. DeSpain said the victim reported the green dye on the bills did not fully extend to the top of the bill, leaving a white space on top.
DeSpain said the victim also reported the bills were missing a security strip and had a different texture than a real $20 bill.
The fake $20 bills all had the same serial number, according to the statement.
Ald. Scott Resnick, District 8, said the incident is not the first that has happened in the area, and said State Street is a common place for a situation like this to occur.
Resnick said while Craigslist can be a useful tool to sell things, it is important to make sure secure transactions are taking place between buyers and sellers.
“There are other, safer ways to facilitate transactions than just handing over cash,” Resnick said. “That way, this type of situation can be avoided.”
He said PayPal, or a similar electronic medium, would be a better way of ensuring students receive legitimate money for their items they are selling.
Resnick said the victim took the correct action by immediately calling the police because printing and using fraudulent money is a felony and can hurt local business.
“While it may not seem like it, this does impact businesses on State Street,” Resnick said.
He said using computers and the Internet to commit fraud is becoming increasingly common. He said police in Madison are trying their hardest to combat these actions.