Eye on Scams: Circulation of ‘movie money or ‘prop money’

Eye on Scams

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Prop money is circulating around Acadiana. A local business is wanting to warn businesses and consumers about the circulation of “movie money” or “prop money.” This money is designed for the film and promotion industries for use in films, music videos, and production promotions.

Chris Babin, with the Better Business Bureau of Acadiana, said, “A local accredited business contacted us, wanted us to help be aware, wanted us to share the information with businesses and consumers that they actually had somebody check out and use fake money or ‘prop money’ it says on it at one of their local establishments, and they’re not sure if this is an isolated incident or if this type of money is something that’s trying to be spent in the local Acadiana area.”

The business wanted to remain anonymous but says the payment for products purchased were for twenty-dollar bills. At first glance, they appear to be real.

“It’s actually created to look just like real money to be able to use in movies and in scenes where they’re not using actual currency but need it to look like that, so scammers are unethical people that purchase this online and have spent it,” explained Babin.

The fake twenty-dollar bill states ‘copy money’ but could be hard to spot. The business that accepted the bills said they only use counterfeit detector pens on one hundred and fifty-dollar bills.

“The business explained that it kind of was a busy day. At the end of the day, when they reconciled the cash register, they actually weren’t sure who even spent that so really there’s nothing they can do on their end. They’re just out those funds that they collected the fake bills for,” added Babin.

Here’s how you can avoid becoming a victim of prop money:

  • Look at the currency when you receive it from a consumer.
  • Check all currency with a counterfeit detector pen.
  • Look for Chinese characters or foreign writing on the front and back of the bill.
  • Look for the words “replica” or “copy money.”

For more on Eye on Scams, download our Eye on Scams podcast on 10 Talks Acadiana, https://tentalksacadiana.podbean.com/e/eye-on-scams-may-2021-tutor-scams-vaccine-scams-electrical-company-cons/. It’s available anywhere you listen to podcasts. 

If you have a scam you’d like me to investigate, feel free to send me an email at smasters@klfy.com.

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