It used to be pretty easy to spot counterfeit luxury goods online: when a handbag that normally costs, say, $3,000 is available for $50 on a website that popped up overnight, that’s usually a pretty good hint. That’s why counterfeiters have an interesting new tactic: they’re improving the quality of their fakes and selling them for prices closer to those of the original item. You know, to keep from arousing customers’ suspicion. [More]
Today the Treasury Department will reveal a redesigned $100 bill. The new design brings the bill in line with the smaller denominations that are already in circulation, and it adds a fancy new anti-counterfeiting measure called Motion that uses special threads to “create an optical illusion of images sliding in directions perpendicular to the light that catches them.” [More]
If there’s one thing every crack dealer hates, it’s being paid in Monopoly money. A 33-year-old man in Wichita, KS, was pulled over by officers last week and found bleeding from the head. He told police he’d just been tricked by his angry crack dealer into coming over to his house, whereupon the dealer pistol whipped his face. According to the police report, the victim told them that “a couple of weeks ago he bought several hundred dollars of crack-cocaine with Monopoly money and now the dealer was ready for pay back.” [More]
I’ve always thought that the U.S. should bring back larger-denomination coins. I like concluding an evening out in Canada or in the Euro zone and discovering that there’s the equivalent of $14 or so in change sitting in my pockets. A man in Pennsylvania apparently feels the same way, and succeeded in buying ice cream with a counterfeit $20 coin.
Who pays for a six-piece McNugget with a
$20 $50 bill? Counterfeiters, that’s who, and the McDonald’s near Madison Square Garden is ready for them. Sorry guys, you’re going to have to ask Wendy’s to anonymously break your shadily large bills.
That headline is the good news. The bad news is the $61 million in damages ordered by a French court isn’t meant for regular shoppers who have been defrauded when shopping on eBay. Instead, it’s been awarded to LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the French luxury goods company behind Louis Vuitton purses (among other fancy things, as you can see from their name). LVMH argued that “90 percent of the Louis Vuitton bags and Dior perfumes sold on eBay are fakes,” and that eBay profited off the sales without doing enough to stop them. EBay can appeal the decision, or simply click the “Pay It Now!” button.
That $1,500 Prada bag may have been stitched by an illegal Chinese immigrant slaving away in a Tuscan factory. The tentacles of globalization are starting to snake dirt-cheap foreign laborers into once-protected enclaves known for their quality swag.
37-year-old Mesa, Arizona resident Scott Martin didn’t understand why a shop owner wouldn’t sell him a watch in exchange for two $100 bills bearing Abraham Lincoln’s watermark. The shop owner gently explained that President Lincoln appears on the penny and the $5 bill. This was enough to start a fight that ended with the shop owner tasering Martin.
When fire rescue personnel arrived, they cut off Martin’s shirt to treat him, and three more counterfeit $100 bills fell out, the document said.