Here’s some free financial advice that may seem obvious.  If someone pays you with cash, make sure the bills aren’t printed with the message “For Motion Picture Purposes”.

A Warren man tells police that someone paid him $169 for automotive work last week.  He didn’t find out until he tried to spend the money later that someone noticed that one of the bills was counterfeit.

In addition to a portrait of President Ulysses Grant, the bill was also printed with the message “For Motion Picture Purposes” on both the front and the back. The victim said he didn’t see the message on the bills because it was folded in with other money.

“Movie Money” counterfeits are nothing new.  It’s been widespread in the U.S. for years and periodically pops up here in the Valley.

In 2019, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer warned his constituents that online retailers like eBay and Amazon sell “Movie Money” as a gag gift or for other reasons.

According to the U.S. Secret Service, prop money is the most popular type of counterfeit money because people don’t have to do much to acquire it.

 For most people looking to dupe businesses and inject fake funds into the marketplace all that is required is an internet connection. From there, scammers primarily search eBay and Amazon for bogus bills, where hundreds of ‘dollars’ is available for around ten dollars in real money. 

The Secret Service offers tips to help businesses and consumers identify counterfeit currency:

  • Take a glance at cash when you receive it from any retail establishment or individual.
  • Look for foreign writing on the front and back of the note.
  • Look for the words “For Motion Picture Use Only” or “Replica” written on the note.