FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The U.S. Secret Service is investigating after a Fort Myers woman says she received a counterfeit one-hundred dollar bill from her bank.
This happened at the San Carlos SunTrust bank off U.S. 41. The victim, who wishes to remain unidentified, said she withdrew 600 dollars to pay her mortgage at another bank. "The teller asked me how I wanted it, and I said it doesn't matter because I was going from on bank to another," she said.
Upon depositing the 600 dollars, the ATM she was using did not accept one of the hundred dollar bills. The woman went inside to see what she could do. "They marked it and it came up black. She said 'your bill is counterfeit.'"
The bank confiscated the bill and filed a report with the U.S. Secret Service before giving the victim a copy of it. She took the copy back to SunTrust to get a real bill in it's place. However, the SunTrust branch manager would not refund her the money. "He said, 'well, unfortunately fake money comes in and goes back out sometimes,'" she said. "I was just shocked about how he made it sound like 'oh well, you're out a hundred dollars, not my problem.'"
4 In Your Corner made several phone calls to the SunTrust bank, SunTrust Corporate Office, and the U.S. Federal Reserve, which regulates SunTrust. After making those calls for our news story, a branch manager called the victim and deposited the hundred dollars back into the victim's account. "I'm sure it had something to do with you calling them, but the manager called me back and apologized," she said.
4 In Your Corner wanted to know whether this could happen to anyone. We also wanted to know what SunTrust does to make sure they are not circulating counterfeit bills. A spokesperson for SunTrust's corporate office responded to our questions with this statement:
"We do have training, policies and procedures in place, however we refrain from discussing the details around those as it would be counterproductive. And as you would expect, we also work with law enforcement on these issues."
We also asked whether or not the San Carlos branch would take any action to insure this does not happen again. SunTrust declined to comment.
As for the woman in this incident, she said she's glad she got her money back. She also said from now on, she will double check with tellers to make sure all her bills are real. "Now whenever I do withdraw money from a bank, I'm going to have them mark it to prove it's not counterfeit."