Drivers cruising through El Dorado Hills this weekend might have seen an unusual sight: $100 bills scattered in the middle of an intersection, seemingly up for grabs.
It sounds too good to be true, doesn't it?
The El Dorado County Sheriff's Department tweeted Monday morning that fake $100 bills were thrown from the window of a vehicle on Saturday. The scene inspired some to try cashing in on their luck, as some passers-by attempted to collect the notes from the street, according to reports on Twitter.
The notes aren’t particularly convincing, said sheriff's department Sgt. Anthony Prencipe, considering they have pink and purple Chinese characters on them and a dashed bar through the note’s denomination on the upper right corner. The markings were present on both sides of the bill, Prencipe said.
The not-so-convincing $100 notes aren’t unique — reports of similar bills with the Chinese inscription have surfaced in other parts of the country and as far away as Australia.
Multiple reports indicate that these types of fake notes are used to train Chinese tellers to count money in foreign currencies. According to reports, the pink and purple text reads, "Training Money. SAMPLE. Only for practice. Circulation Forbidden."
The training bills are available for purchase on eBay in denominations starting from $1.
Although the notes have obvious markings that aren’t typical of legal tender, the bills are the same size as the real thing and might pass for the real thing at a glance if folded or stacked with other bills.
In the tweet, the sheriff warned local businesses about accepting fake bills and encouraging people to turn them in.
The intersection is the location of the El Dorado Hills Fire Department's administrative office.