Dirty Money? Here’s What You Can Do With It…

money Here’s a job that belongs on the popular TV show “Dirty Jobs” with Mike Rowe: The US Treasury’s job of replacing and cleaning up dirty money.

You probably didn’t even know this service existed unless you have lost a lot of cash, usually through fire, flood, exposure to chemicals, rodent or insect infestation or deterioration from being buried. But each year, the Treasury exchanges unusable currency for new money. It fields about 30,000 claims and exchanges about $30 million every year for some very relieved people.

In one case, a farmer dropped his wallet in a field and a cow ate it. He slaughtered the cow and sent its stomach to the Mutilated Currency Division. Though identifying the money was not a pleasant task, the farmer got his $600 back in the form of a check. In another case, a dog ate a lady’s money, and it ultimately came out the other end in pieces. Identifying the pieces was smelly detective work, but she got her money back, too.

Cash buried in a dry climate can petrify, making it difficult to pry apart to determine denominations. Money buried in wet climates can turn into a mass resembling oatmeal. The Treasury has tactics to identify the bills and will redeem them. Sometimes the sender has to swear an affidavit in support of their claim.

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