If a $100 bill was laying on the ground, would you claim it as yours?

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  1. cam8510 profile image93
    cam8510posted 11 years ago

    I was listening to two DJs on the radio.  They were real clowns.  One was "on the street," the other in the studio.  The one on the street had a fake $100 bill which he put on the ground in front of a gas station.  When people walked out, he'd ask them it the $100 bill was theirs.  Actually, their first "victim" claimed it was his money.  They put the guy on the air and made light of the situation, telling the guy he is everything that is wrong with the world.

    What would you do in that situation, minus the clowning DJs of course.  Would you take the money and run?  Why or why not.  Why do you believe you would respond that way?

    1. Ericdierker profile image46
      Ericdierkerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Just happened to me. I reached picked it up and yelled around if this hundred was anybodies. after about two minutes I pocketed it. Went home and gave it to my wife, telling her it was not mine. I do not know what she did with it, but there was a full refrigerator and a new toy for my boy a day later. I noticed she shopped at a small local grocer and bought some stuff I love but cannot always afford, rhubard and pineapple and ceviche.
      I still feel a bit guilty.

      1. cam8510 profile image93
        cam8510posted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Eric, you prove my point very well.  We want to do the right thing.  We would give it back to the rightful owner.  But we aren't often willing to just leave it for the next person.  I think what I'm looking for with the question is what is at our core as individuals.  Who are we.  I have to ask myself that question often.

        1. guzie profile image61
          guzieposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Eric, this is a "loaded question".  Most folks today would take the money and never ask who, where or why.  Personally I would do my best to find the rightful owner,  but I would not go out of my way to find them.

          1. cam8510 profile image93
            cam8510posted 11 years agoin reply to this

            What's loaded about my question, guzie?

    2. Michael-Milec profile image60
      Michael-Milecposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Are you kidding me,would be my first reaction. My experience in this social system is puzzling me when approach by a " bystander " suspicious at first look . On the other hand, if there woul be a $100.00 bill , my decision could be one of two: a) cover it by my foot for brief moment, waitng ,someone to come by asking if I didn't see a $100.- bill ;b) take it to the nearby policestation . My life would never change for better by appropriation of something which isn't my in first place.

      1. cam8510 profile image93
        cam8510posted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I'm getting the feeling that people want to do the right thing.  They don't want to take what isn't their own.  But we wrestle with something like this because that money isn't going to get back to the rightful owner.  Good thoughts Michael.

    3. galleryofgrace profile image71
      galleryofgraceposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      If absolutely no one was around most of us would take it and go. There are still some honest people around. I once left a wallet in a Target restroom which contained 500 cash. It was my rent and I was sure it was gone. Someone turned it in to the office and my money was safe. glad I didn't shop at Walmart , I'm sure i would not have gotten it back.

    4. Pearldiver profile image68
      Pearldiverposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      This is the oldest 'trick' in the book.... everyone knows you put chewing gum on the soles of your shoes and just walk over it, without batting an eyelid and get in your car and drive off!  Sheesh... why would you bend over for a $100?  roll  smile

      1. cam8510 profile image93
        cam8510posted 11 years agoin reply to this

        But I don't chew gum.

        1. Pearldiver profile image68
          Pearldiverposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Yeah? Well clearly this method doesn't work for everyone... Which is why it is a viable method! smile
          Between you and I.... I no longer wear shoes!  lol

    5. Lazy Parrot profile image59
      Lazy Parrotposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Simple: If someone asked me if I lost money and I had not, answer is no.  Just cash on the ground, no real way to ID who lost it, if you ask the next person, they will probably say yes, truth or not.  Goes in my pocket, if I here later or next few days someone lost it, would return it, only way they would know is if they dropped it. If substantial amount or in Identifiable container then take to police.

    6. Ratatoesk profile image57
      Ratatoeskposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      If I would find a bill on the street I would just take it. If I would ask around for sure I would find someone telling its his.
      But if I were asked I wouldn´t say it´s mine if its not.
      Normally the looser doesn´t really know that he lost it ;-)
      But if I see someone loosing money I would take it and give it back to him because I know its his or hers.

  2. btrbell profile image87
    btrbellposted 11 years ago

    I would not have "claimed" it as mine if asked. If I had gone outside and found it myself, I would have gone in to see if anyone had lost it. I would be very tempted to keep it but if I had, I would not have been able to enjoy it. This is a good question and it is very easy to take the "high" road here on print. My only comparison is years ago when I found a wallet. I only looked in it as far as identification and even that felt like a violation!

    1. cam8510 profile image93
      cam8510posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Hi Randi, I'm getting the impression from the answers so far, which are really good by the way, that there is a difference between claiming that you lost it, which is a lie, and making a good faith effort to see if someone has reported it missing in a nearby store.  If there is no way to find the unfortunate person who lost it, then why not take it?  I'm with you, I'd have this nagging feeling for a while.

  3. viryabo profile image95
    viryaboposted 11 years ago

    I will definitely walk past it. I believe if you take something that's not yours, you are opening the door to an unwanted guest. ILL LUCK.

    1. cam8510 profile image93
      cam8510posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      viryabo, wow, walk right past it.  That would take a lot of self discipline.  But if bad luck is the result, then I'd agree $100 isn't worth it.

  4. johndnathan profile image76
    johndnathanposted 11 years ago

    If I see the bill on the ground in a public place, and they ask me "is that yours?" I'll pick up the bill and say "It is now."

    We pick up pennies, nickels, and dollars bills off the ground every day.  How is a $100 bill any different?  Sure I can understand if it's a bag of money with a armored car logo on it, as someone is certainly willing to use the law to get that money back, but if it's a lone $100 bill then if you don't take it then someone else will.

    1. cam8510 profile image93
      cam8510posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Something tells me that even though I want to "take the high road here," as Randi said in her answer, I would likely end up doing something like what you have suggested.  Good, honest answer. In reality, that money is not likely to find its way to its proper home.

  5. psycheskinner profile image83
    psycheskinnerposted 11 years ago

    I've found money. I turned it into police and when it was unclaimed I got it back. Better to turn it in IMHO because the person who lost it might really need it.

    1. cam8510 profile image93
      cam8510posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      That is a great idea.  If the sum is large enough, someone may ask the police for help finding it.  Very good idea psycheskinner.

  6. seanorjohn profile image71
    seanorjohnposted 11 years ago

    An interesting experiment on British TV , showed that if you put a yellow circle round the note, people are reluctant to pick it up. They think it is a crime scene and they are being observed. I dare you to try it. Take a bet with a friend on how many people will not pick it up.

    1. cam8510 profile image93
      cam8510posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      That is a great idea.  The circle also looks like a bulls eye, which means there is a target.  Nobody wants to be a target or be near one.  Thanks seanorjohn.

  7. Zelkiiro profile image89
    Zelkiiroposted 11 years ago

    My conscious mind says to turn it into the police and hope it remains unclaimed. My hand says, "Ooh! Money!"

    1. cam8510 profile image93
      cam8510posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Haha, you know how you make your hand look like a talking mouth?  I won't explain it, you know.  I can see mine looking at me and saying "Show me the money."

  8. profile image0
    Stevennix2001posted 11 years ago

    On the flip side of this situation, how do any of you know that if you did yell out that you found a 100 dollar bill on the ground that the person who answers would be honest?  after all, ANYBODY can claim they did lost a 100 dollar bill, even though they didn't.

    For example, a few years ago when I was talking to a coworker of mine named Jeff (fake name to protect his identity, but the story is real), and he was telling me how was taking a walk around his apartment complex  He walked past a little boy that was playing with his dog, but the boy found a $100 dollar on the ground.  The kid was like, "Hey mister, is this yours?"  Jeff even ADMITTED to me that he knew that money wasn't his, but that didn't stop him from saying to the kid, "Yeah kid.  That's mine."

    Long story short, the kid gave him the money, and I think Jeff said he gave the kid 5 bucks for his trouble.  The moral of the story folks is that even if you are honest in that situation (i.e. the kid), there's no guarantee the person claiming the money is being honest (i.e. Jeff).  Just something to think about.

    edit:  By the way, I think Jeff said the kid was only like 5 or 6 yrs old, in case anyone is wondering.

    1. John Holden profile image61
      John Holdenposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Surely you yell out that you've found a $50  note, anybody claiming it is a liar but the one who says $50! Blast i lost a $100 is the rightful owner

      BTW, don't you have the offence of stealing by finding in the US?

      1. profile image0
        Stevennix2001posted 11 years agoin reply to this

        hmm..that's a clever way to handle the situation. 

        I know I'll get heckled by some of you for asking this, but I'm afraid I don't understand this question that your asking me exactly.  Can you please explain it to me?  Please.

        1. John Holden profile image61
          John Holdenposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          The principle is that everything is owned by somebody and you do not relinquish ownership by dropping something, therefore anybody finding something and not making effort to return it to its rightful owner is stealing it.

          Think of it in terms of litter, you cannot escape the consequences of littering by claiming that because it was on the ground it was no longer your litter.

          1. profile image0
            Stevennix2001posted 11 years agoin reply to this

            Point taken.  However, I never said I agreed with my co-worker's actions, as he only told me like a day or two after the fact that it happened.  Therefore, he might have been lying to me, or he might have been telling me the truth.   Either way, I don't care, as there's no way to prove his story either way.   And knowing him the way that I do, I know if i had said anything, he'd turn around and deny telling me anything; making it look like I imagined the whole thing, as we were alone when he told me that story.  Then, he would've gone off spreading rumors on how I made false accusations against him, and knowing my coworkers at the time, they all would've believed him; without one person even bothering to get my point of view.  And before any of you say, "blah blah blah..you don't know that."  Actually, I do, as I knew those people quite well, so I know exactly how they thought.  Therefore, I just merely chose not to say anything to him when he told me. I just laughed with him, and then acted as if nothing happened.  That's all.

            Does it make me a bad person for not saying anything to him?  Maybe.  But then again, what else was I supposed to do?  It already happened after the fact, when he told me.  And it's not like lecturing him about what he did was wrong would've helped, as he would've just done the actions I just said.   Besides, I don't believe in fighting losing battles anyway, as some people are just a**holes.  You know that, and I know that.

            As for what you said, I don't disagree with you, as it's morally wrong to take something that isn't yours; whether it was just dropped on the ground accidental or not.   I'm not exactly sure if a person took the money that was dropped on the ground would qualify as stealing, as I'm not a lawyer or a cop to answer that question.  I do know that if you throw something out into the trash, it immediately becomes public property, as you relinquished all ownership of said item you threw out; thus it's kind of iffy on how you want to look at it from a legal perspective.  Again, I'm not an expert when it comes to the law, so I couldn't tell you if picking up a hundred dollar bill off the ground would be deemed legal or not.  Obviously if you found a huge bag of money that dropped out of an armored car, then it would be deemed a crime because there would be an investigation on where that money disappeared to for obvious reasons.

            As for something like a 100 dollar bill, that's a bit dicey.  I do agree with you that it's morally wrong to claim it as your own if you do see it.  However, I'm not sure if it's illegal to claim it as your own, as it depends on the person you ask.

            1. John Holden profile image61
              John Holdenposted 11 years agoin reply to this

              Whoa! I wasn't picking you up on anything that you said. I was just making the point that finding something in the street (even a $100 bill) and claiming it for yourself is theft.

              The law doesn't really depend on who you ask.

              1. Li Galo profile image77
                Li Galoposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                No, it's not theft.  At least, that's what the local police (I'm in the USA) here tell me.  I left my laptop (with kindle and cell phone in laptop bag) in the car of someone I knew who would not return it.  The police do not consider it theft and will not pursue it.  They said I had left it.  Therefore, the other person did not steal it.  So, if someone leaves the $100 on public property, the street, too bad for them say the police.  There's a saying here in the US.  "Finders keepers.  Losers weepers."  That's why people have no problem picking up coins or monetary bills that someone else has lost and sticking it in their pocket.

                Personally, I have found lost money and wallets (I used to work in a busy shopping mall for many years) so I always contacted the store manager or mall security first, depending on where I found it.  Most places have a 30 days policy.  The rightful owner has 30 days to claim it or I can have it for myself... back to that "finders keepers" saying that we grow up with here. If they don't claim it and I get to keep it, then I don't feel guilty at all about having the money (or one time, jewelry).  I feel like I did the right thing by giving them a chance to get their item back but if they never came back for it, then it's going to belong to someone... Why not me, then?

                1. John Holden profile image61
                  John Holdenposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                  A quick google search suggests that theft by finding is an offence in the USA.

                  1. profile image0
                    Stevennix2001posted 11 years agoin reply to this

                    I guess that means the cop he mentioned lied to him

                  2. Li Galo profile image77
                    Li Galoposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                    Yeah, this is California... Maybe the law is different in different states.  The mall security work closely with the police, who also patrol the mall (it's a big mall) so I'm pretty sure the mall security is not breaking any laws by holding the item and then releasing it to the finder. That would put them in a situation where they would be sued big time and people sue so quickly in California, I'm sure they have checked with the legal department to make sure their policy is legit.  It's been the policy there for at least 10 years, since I've been there... maybe longer.

    2. cam8510 profile image93
      cam8510posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Good point and good story, thanks.  cm

  9. psycheskinner profile image83
    psycheskinnerposted 11 years ago

    That is why I thought the police could deal with it, because only they would know where I found it.  I found several hundred dollars.  If it was only 5 or 10 I would probably keep it.

  10. innerspin profile image87
    innerspinposted 11 years ago

    Well, this really made me think. I found a £5 note on the floor of a shop this week. Nobody was around, it was tempting to just pocket the note. However, I gave it to the cashier. She said if nobody claimed it, the money would go in their charity box.

    Leaving the shop, I saw an elderly man patting his pockets. I asked if he'd lost anything. He said yes, a fiver, so I told him to go and ask the cashier. She could see me through the window. The old man shuffled back inside to claim his money, thanking me. I'm glad I didn't keep it.

    Then...$100 bill. I guess that's a different matter. If someone asked was it mine, I'd say no. If I found it when no-one else was around, that would be very tempting. Surely not many people carry that much money, which would make me think perhaps they could afford to lose it. Weird thinking?  Yeah. I'd probably hand it to the police station, then if it wasn't claimed, it would legally be mine.

  11. Shanna11 profile image75
    Shanna11posted 11 years ago

    I couldn't have claimed it. I just wouldn't feel right. But I also would try and make sure no one else could claim it and benefit from their dishonesty. IE, I'd take it to the police or someone I could trust to not take it for themselves. I would somehow leave a note in the vicinity in case the person who lost it came back to look for it.

    When I was a kid, I found a thick wad of bills in the bottom of the neighborhood swimming pool, and trustingly took it to the life guard, expecting him to look for the right owner. He laughed in my face, thanked me for the pay raise and tucked it in his wallet. I was SO mad, but there wasn't a whole lot a little eight year old could do. tongue

    1. profile image0
      cartondamageposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Now that would make me very angry.  And I understand that a little kid does not have much recourse.  As for finding $100, I agree that it would not likely have been lost by a street person, but by someone without a great need.  I would definitely make an effort to find the owner in the vicinity, but lacking that I would drop it into the collection basket at Church next Sunday or give it to the local soup kitchen.  Knowing myself so well, I would probably go out and spend $100 on something I've been wanting and pay for it on time.  Then when paid for I'd applaud myself for proving I really can get what I want without being dishonest.

  12. Brandy Burlwood profile image61
    Brandy Burlwoodposted 11 years ago

    I found a $50 at a crowded bar recently. Knowing that there was no way to find the owner, I gave it to the bartender and told her that if no one specifically came looking for it that she should put it in the tip jar.

    1. cam8510 profile image93
      cam8510posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Fantastic idea Brandy.  I never would have thought of that.

  13. MissBrando profile image61
    MissBrandoposted 11 years ago

    This is an interesting question. I would definitely check to see if it belonged to someone. I'd ask anyone in the nearby vicinity and if a police station was nearby, say across the street or on the same side of the street I'd definitely turn it in.  I don't want what isn't mine but I have to be honest and say that I'm definitely not going to get in my car and drive 15-20 mins to the nearest police station to turn it in. The odds of the person finding their money at some random police station that I've picked out is pretty low at that point .

    I'd only take the money for myself if no one I ask claims the money or if there is absolutely no one around who the money could belong to. No folks walking by, no nearby stores or gas stations. No indication that the person that dropped it is still in the area or no clue to who that person is. Then and only then would I take the money.

    1. cam8510 profile image93
      cam8510posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      That is good sense MissBrando, I might even try just standing around for a few minutes to see if anyone looks like they are looking for something.  It could happen.  If I lost that much money, I'd backtrack and look for it.  Thanks.

  14. jcmayer777 profile image63
    jcmayer777posted 11 years ago

    Not buying most of the responses...

    If someone else found it and asked if it was mine, I'm sure I'd say no.  If I found it laying outside, I'd put in my pocket and walk away.

    This is flawed.  Since many of the people here post on the forums routinely and have an 'image' or 'rep' to protect, of course they'll say they wouldn't keep the money if they found it.  Who wants to admit they'd put it in their pocket and walk away?

    I'm not saying anyone in particular isn't being honest, but if the bill was put out on the ground, I'd bet most people would put in their pocket and walk away.  HP is nothing more than a slice of the population.  If the majority of people not on HP would do this, I assume the majority of people on HP would do the same.

    1. profile image0
      Stevennix2001posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      wow, and here i thought i was the only one on hubpages that had a very jaded and cynical point of view when it came to humanity in general.

  15. cyoung35 profile image82
    cyoung35posted 11 years ago

    I think you have to ask yourself how you would feel if you were the one that lost the $100 bill. Would you go back looking for it and where would you look first. I personally would probably go back looking for it with a bit of skepticism that I would actually find it. I would then hope that the person who found it needed it more than I did. I'm sure $100 is a lot of money and could possibly have been the money they were using to buy groceries for their family, or it could have been a drug dealer who dropped it...no one really knows where the money came from when you find it so most think it's better me than someone that will use it for drugs or alcohol. I personally would look around to see if there is anyone looking for the money, if not I wouldn't trust just leaving it there. I would then most likely give it to a charity and be on my way knowing something good will become of the $100 bill. I believe things happen for a reason and the person who finds the money is the one who is supposed to find it.

  16. profile image0
    Ghost32posted 11 years ago

    I like Pearldiver's maneuver the best so far.

    My sisters and I had some good fortune in the form of our parents.  Dad and I once, while riding in the mountains, checking on cattle, found a billfold with $12 cash in it...which would be a bit more than $100 in today's money, but close enough.

    Fortunately, there was also ID in there.  We had no phone or Internet back then, so I got the honors of writing to the owner, telling him what we'd found and where, asking him to confirm and we'd send him the wallet.

    He wrote back by return mail--telling us thanks, please send the wallet with ID but keep the cash.

    Of course, that wasn't in the city, and they didn't have many DJ's growing on trees back in the boonies.  But with society as it is today, the first things that would flash through my mind if I saw a bill like that:

    1.  Man, am I glad we're not as broke as we were in 2009, so temptation is not an issue here.

    2.  Law enforcement sting. (Paranoia, paranoia--LSD,LSD--all the teachers do it--why can't we, why can't we...)

    3.  Counterfeit.

    4.  Tainted, drug money, blood money.

    1. cam8510 profile image93
      cam8510posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Ghost32, I'm with you on the poverty thing.  There have been scary times when there wasn't much.  It's easy to compromise and rationalize at those times.  Having enough to meet my needs and to share a little makes all the difference.

  17. Uninvited Writer profile image81
    Uninvited Writerposted 11 years ago

    When I was a kid I found a $20 on the floor of a store and gave it to the cashier. I could have used it but I guess my parents taught me well smile

  18. freecampingaussie profile image61
    freecampingaussieposted 11 years ago

    It depends on where it is as to what I would do with it . I have found $30 in a car park with no one around to ask if they had lost it . Over the years I have found & returned at least 3 wallets and a few phones .


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