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You find $50 on the ground in a touristy area - what do you do?

Keep it
26 (46.4%)
Give it to an employee
8 (14.3%)
Keep it but leave your phone number for the claimant to call
10 (17.9%)
12 (21.4%)

Total Members Voted: 56

Author Topic: Found money - what do you do?  (Read 9121 times)

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Found money - what do you do?
« on: May 02, 2013, 04:11:05 PM »
DH found $50 on the floor at a museum yesterday.  I ran downstairs to let the cashier/ticket guy know that we found some money and of anyone comes looking for it to find us (DH is easy to describe and easy to spot in a crowd).  Nobody had by the time we we ready to leave - almost two hours later - and I'm curious what y'all would have done  :)

(The cashier seemed a bit TOO eager for me to leave the money with him, which gave me pause.  I got the feeling the money would disappear if I left it there.  That may not have been fair of me, but instead I gave him my number and the amount and said if anyone came to claim that amount they could call me and we'd be in town for several more days.  No call yet and I'm not really expecting one.)

(ETA: I should mention that this was a smallish private museum and this was the only employee we saw.  I think I would have sought out a manager if there had been one on site.)
« Last Edit: May 02, 2013, 04:12:36 PM by Slartibartfast »

gramma dishes

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Re: Found money - what do you do?
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2013, 04:18:30 PM »
I hate to say it, but I think you were wise to handle it exactly as you did.  I'm pretty confident that the one employee who was there at the time was thinking to himself "Yay!  A $50 gift for ME, ME, ME!!!"  Even had someone claimed it, I doubt he would have admitted that he knew anything about it.

You handled it just right!  *patting sounds on Slartibartfast's back*

gramma dishes

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Re: Found money - what do you do?
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2013, 04:21:56 PM »
Oh, by the way.  I didn't mark any of the answers because there are so many different possible circumstances that I probably wouldn't handle all potential cases the same way.

If I found it on a busy sidewalk, I'd probably just keep it to be honest.  Unless it was a HUGE amount of money, in which case I'd turn it over to the police.

In your situation, I'd probably do what you did, but I'm not sure I'd have been quick enough to think not to give it to the employee.  I'd have probably just handed it over and then kicked myself in the forehead after I walked away.


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Re: Found money - what do you do?
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2013, 04:42:56 PM »
I selected "Other" because it depends on the circumstances. In the grocery store, I just looked around and asked a couple of people if they had lost anything, and one guy felt in his pocket and said, "Oh, my Gosh! A $20!" so I gave it to him. (Probably equal to the $50 now - it was a long time ago.)

We found a small amount and there was a school group, so I went to one of the chaperons and asked her if any of the kids had lost some cash, and she hadn't heard anything, so I kept it and told her I had it. (It was like less than $3.00, the amount a kid would have after lunch and a small souvenir, maybe.) After the bus left, I just put it in the donation cash box. There was another incidence at a national park, and we put it in the donation box, too.

The $20 that blew into our back yard after a windstorm many years ago, we just kept.

I think you were very wise with what you did. You deserve it as much as the guy did, and if there had been a donation box and you didn't trust him anyway, it probably would have been a futile gift.

I don't know what I would do if it were a significant amount and would tempt me. I've never been tested that much!


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Re: Found money - what do you do?
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2013, 04:58:04 PM »
I picked "other" because by "touristy area" I was thinking outdoors on the ground (I didn't read the OP before answering). I am a "not mine--walk on by" kind of person. Unless the person who dropped it is standing right there and I saw it fall out of their pocket, there's really no way to figure out who cash belongs to.

If I saw it on the floor indoors I would be slightly more likely to pick it up and offer it to an employee to do with as they will (I'm not sure why it makes a difference to me, outdoors vs. indoors). I would certainly say something like, "...if anyone comes by for it," but if they pocketed it, it wouldn't surprise me.

I would not want the responsibility of hanging on to it and having to meet up with and convey it to a stranger who now has my phone number--what's to stop the employee from mentioning it to their friend, who would then call me and get the money (and presumably split it with the employee)?


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Re: Found money - what do you do?
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2013, 05:14:03 PM »
I keep it. I figure the odds of the person who lost it actually coming back to ask about it are very, very low.

I might do what you did, though, if I thought it was sensible, if I thought the person who lost it might have any clue about *where* they lost it. And for something like a $50.

rose red

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Re: Found money - what do you do?
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2013, 05:15:45 PM »
I found money in a book at the library and gave it to the front desk.  If I found a small amount on the street, I'd probably just keep it.


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Re: Found money - what do you do?
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2013, 05:19:31 PM »
We find pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, dollar bills, five dollar bills and one single time a twenty dollar bill when we "walk" indoors at the mall.  We keep the change and keep an eye out for anyone walking around looking as if they are searching for money on the ground (gave a five dollar bill back to a pre-teen one time).  If no one appears to be searching for the money, we keep it.

Sheila Take a Bow

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Re: Found money - what do you do?
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2013, 05:27:41 PM »
I'd probably hold on to it for the duration of my visit, then when I got home write a check for that amount as a donation to the museum.

ETA:  I've found money before, in the middle of the street, and it felt wrong to keep it.  So donation is my way to give the money a good home.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2013, 05:29:32 PM by Sheila Take a Bow »


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Re: Found money - what do you do?
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2013, 06:02:06 PM »
We were on a cruise when DS was about 6 and he found a makeup bag, with a lot of money in it.  It was kinda hidden in a potted plant.  We took it to the desk, I forget what it was called.  They acted like it was no big deal.  It has bothered me for years wondering why it was there, who put it there and was that person ok.  Yeah, I am a worrier.

I can't remember the exact amount but it was several hundred dollars.


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Re: Found money - what do you do?
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2013, 06:16:22 PM »
I found $20 in a small retail store and gave it to the employee at the cash register. There were 6 or 8 teenagers in the store at the time and I suspect it had fallen out of one of their pockets, and I was leaving the store so hopefully whoever lost it got it back.


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Re: Found money - what do you do?
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2013, 06:24:05 PM »
I selected "Other" because it depends on the circumstances.

As did I.


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Re: Found money - what do you do?
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2013, 06:30:40 PM »
 This is actually a property law question. Here is a link to the wiki article about lost, mislaid, or abandoned property. 


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Re: Found money - what do you do?
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2013, 06:58:50 PM »
I think you handled your dilemma in the best possible choice, especially if you were getting a rather over-eager vibe from the employee. For what else can you do besides also as you did, which would be hanging around a bit to see if someone came up and seemed to be looking, or you heard them asking, about something lost. ;D
Always be on the lookout for wonder. --E.B. White


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Re: Found money - what do you do?
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2013, 07:08:06 PM »
I once found a $20 bill on the sidewalk. I kept it. If there's no way to figure out whose it is and nobody around looking for it, I think you can keep it.

In a case like yours where it's a bit more money and it's possible the person may be looking for it I'd do what you did. I worked in a grocery store and I was told not to turn lost cash in because it would disappear. We'd put a note in the "lost items" folder (for things left in carts out in the parking lot) at the customer service desk and put the cash in one of the donation jars. If someone came in looking for it the manager would open the jar and get their cash.