Memorial Union Discontinues Accepting Benjamins

counterfeit money
counterfeit money
GABBY HARTZE | THE SPECTRUM
While $50 bills are OK, the Memorial Union will not accept any $100 bills because of counterfeiting
fears.

North Dakota State’s Memorial Union is home to big events and activities, but it is rarely home to bills over $50.

Problems arose in January 2014 when a few instances occurred of Union shops encountering counterfeit money, The Spectrum reported.

Secret Service officers from Fargo and Minneapolis, as well as local police departments investigated the crime, though they were not able to track down the criminals.

The bills appeared to be real and passed the pen test, but upon further inspection, a bank could easily see the texture and some subtle details were not the same.

The discovery caused things to change around the Memorial Union.

Memorial Union administration implemented security cameras, The Spectrum reported, as well that most stores within the union will not accept $100 bills, including Design & Sign, the US Post Office, the Rec Center, and the Gallery Store.

Many places around Fargo have also begun to post signs they no longer accept bills greater than $50. Businesses are becoming more aware of counterfeit bills and are not willing to have anything put on risk.

“The Memorial Union Department staff determined the risk to be too great to continue accepting $100 bills at the time when another area in the Memorial Union accepted several counterfeit $100 bills,” said Kay Smith, Memorial Union accounting. 

“I haven’t run across a problem with it myself, but I think that it is kind of over the top,” said Kristen Pawek, a senior in marketing, adding, “Maybe they should stop accepting $100 bills, but $20 and $50 are still used a lot.”

Since there is no way to track the individual that used the money, the department lost hundreds of dollars with little chances of being able to recover the money, Smith said.

“We believe the risk is too great to lose that amount of money and the cost of equipment to test it properly is high,” Smith said. “The concern for consistent and proper use of the testing equipment at each location to maintain the security also was part of the decision.”

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