Beware: Fake “Movie Money” Being Circulated in Region

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PHOTO: Courtesy of Mingo County Sheriff's Office
PHOTO: Courtesy of Mingo County Sheriff’s Office

All that raw cash you may have seen in thrilling bank heist movies or featured in MTV videos as rappers carelessly throw it into the wind may look real, but even the money used in Hollywood cinemas is largely nothing more than very convincing special effects.  The problem, however, is that it often looks too convincing.

Hollywood is great at making things that aren’t real look as though they are (who can forget the time space aliens blew up the White House on Independence Day of all dates?), but the problem with the fake money produced by Hollywood prop designers (known as “movie money” among law enforcement) is that even though it clearly states that it is fake and not intended for actual use — the vast majority of unsuspecting individuals never really take the time to read the print on their money and thus the dollars find their way into circulation.

Surprisingly, the fake money is available to the public through sites such as Ebay for a very low price and as one can imagine, it doesn’t take very long for desperate people to begin doing very desperate things: Such as passing the “prop money” into circulation.

Thursday afternoon, the Mingo County, West Virginia, Sheriff’s Office released a warning to residents of our region that movie prop money is appearing at various businesses.

One of the papers passed for $100.

It is a federal offense to pass fake money into circulation – a conviction for the offense carries up to 20 years in prison and a fine.

Residents of the region are encouraged by law enforcement to closely inspect all bills they receive in order to ensure they are not victimized.  If an individual discovers that he or she has received fake money, they are required to notify law enforcement immediately.

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