Scott’s nanny just went out to buy new shoes at the evening market on Hongmei Lu. About 30 minutes later she came back, without shoes but obviously very unhappy about something. After she calmed down a bit she told us what had just happened. She found a nice pair of shoes and wanted to pay for it with a RMB 100 bill. The sales person took the bill but gave it back to her a few seconds later, telling her that it was fake. She looked at the bill and noticed it was a clean, unfolded bill. However, she always keeps her money tightly folded in her pocket. So this was not the money she gave the shoe seller!
She got very upset because he was trying to cheat her and RMB 100 is a lot of money for her. Luckily for her there was a witness who had seen what had happened and helped her. After a long verbal fight she got back her bill, but of course she did not buy the shoes anymore. I am sure the shoe sales man will try the same trick afterward on someone else and change the fake bill for a real one. Most people would have no idea they are being tricked, and in a badly lighted outside evening market you have no chance to prove you are being cheated.