Scam trivia: Green Goods, the oldest scam

The United States saw an influx of counterfeit money during the 19th century. Historic researchers later dubbed this…

The United States saw an influx of counterfeit money during the 19th century. Historic researchers later dubbed this period the “green goods game.” Scammers would post flyers around the country claiming to offer “genuine” counterfeit currency for sale.


Scam trivia: Green Goods, the oldest scam
Scam trivia: Green Goods, the oldest scam

Victims would often respond to the flyers and travel to the location to complete the transaction. Upon arrival, the victim would be shown a bag of genuine currency. However, while the victim was distracted, the bag of money would be switched out for a bag of sawdust, green paper, or other worthless items.

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