Spot the OPSEC fail

Originally published at Notes From The Bunker. You can comment here or there.

Sold a pistol to a fella today. He counted out a buncha ten dollar bills to pay for it. Take a look at this picture and tell me where (or if) you see an OPSEC fail:

Notice anything, oh, I dunno….unusual….about this pile of currency? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

The obvious answer is that the gentleman apparently paid for his new acquisition using ‘old style’ currency. One or two bills wouldn’t have been suspicious but the entire stack was all old currency. This, of course, would make any reasonable person raise an eyebrow and wonder “Did he have all this stuffed into a mattress somewhere?”. This is an excellent example of something simple that draws attention you really don’t need.

Sure, we all stockpile a certain amount of cash to keep on hand. And, once that’s done, it’s entirely possible that as the years go by the currency will change and you’ll be sitting on a safe full of money that, while still accepted and honored, is going to raise some questions from certain corners. Banks already are told to consider cash deposits or transactions involving large amounts of old,dirty or soiled bills as suspicious. I wish I could find it, but a year or two back there was a news article about a fella who would, periodically, go to his local banks and exchange old money that was sometimes dirty, musty or smelled funny, for new currency. The fact that he was doing this fairly often and in large amounts raised suspicions and the cops were called in to investigate. Maybe he found the skeletal remains of a drug courier in the desert..or maybe his grandmother kept all her cash in the basement since her bad experiences in the First Great Depression…regardless, although no apparent crime had been committed, handing over large amounts of old-style money tripped some flags.

On a more local level, paying a bill with several hundred dollars worth of old currency is going to do nothing but make someone ask “Hey, cool! Where’d you get all the old money?” And that’s really attention that you don’t need…especially when buying guns and ammo. Not only that, the blatantly obvious assumption someone might make is “This guy is hoarding cash at home somewhere” and the next thing you know you come home to a kicked in door and ripped up floorboards. So..if you’ve got a stockpile of cash it might be a good idea to ‘keep it current’ in terms of what the current currency is. Now, having said that, I will admit that I’m going to keep some of these bills just for nostalgia’s sake…but if I ever use them to pay for something I’m not going to use them exclusively.