Fake money trick

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.

Write a Comment


  1. I actually scalped some Olympic tickets and something similar happened to me. I handed the man my two tickets and he handed me back cash. The first bill was real but the lower bills were not. Luckily I was only out 200 RMB but you really have to keep an eye out.

  2. As a foreigner, you can only receive 100rmb notes in a bank/hotel when changing money, or in an ATM. And you keep receipts for both transactions, don’t you. Then you just must hold and do not accept the fake money back from anybody anytime, because your money can NOT have a problem by definition, right? The person will give up if they see you mean it or you show them the receipt from bank and ask to call police. They want to earn easy money, they do not want any trouble. But most ppl don’t have the experience, patience or guts or some may even think 100rmb is not big deal worth the trouble and accept being cheated…

  3. Why should a foreigner only get money through a bank or ATM? There are many more ways that I get RMB bills, just a few I can think of right away: cash salary payments, travel reimbursements, paying for a big dinner with a card and the others pay you in cash, paying a deposit and getting it back etc.

  4. This often happens with me when i try to break a large bill, either a 50 or 100 note. I stopped caring and trying to get my money back from the offending cheat. This may sound like I gave in the towel but in all honesty, I probably have recieved loads of fake bills without even realizing it and then went on to spend it. My advice, although I recognize it as heavily flawed, would be to go on and spend it and if it were real. The economic impact of that bill is still felt and if you worry about the “innocent” vendor, be rest assured that he will go on and attempt to pass the note without hesitation!