Greenbacks meant only for the silver screen have been finding their way into real-life transactions in Highland and Troy, police said.
Highland police are currently investigating two incidents of fake cash manufactured for use as a movie prop being passed off as legitimate currency.
Highland Police Department Detective Chris Flake said a phony $100 bill was used on May 21 at a local pharmacy. Then, on May 28, a similar $20 was passed at a Highland convenience store.
Similar incidents have also been reported in Troy, Flake said.
“We have basically ended up running a joint investigation with the Troy Police Department,” Flake said.
Investigators with the Troy Police Department said two $100 movie bills were used there on May 16, one at a restaurant and one at a grocery store.
The money is not true counterfeit, in that the bills themselves say they are not real. The movie prop money is stamped with “FOR MOTION PICTURE USE ONLY” on it.
The movie money can be purchased it from many legitimate places on the Internet.
“You can buy it online — Amazon, eBay — and get it pretty cheap,” Flake said. “It looks like real money, only it says on the bill, ‘FOR MOTION PICTURE USE ONLY,’ but it feels pretty legit,” Flake said.
Police cautioned business owners to inspect bills before accepting them as payment. That goes for individuals, too.
Flake said it was not long ago that HPD received a report from a Highland resident who met a man in St. Louis to sell items he had listed on Craigslist. The man was duped into taking the fake cash as payment.
“He was out 300 bucks,” Flake said.
Police are asking the public to report it if someone attempts to pass the movie money. Contact the Highland Police Department at 654-2131. Contact the Troy Police Department at 667-6731.