PICS: New Braunfels residents getting 'fooled by fake movie money'

Police receiving increasing number of fake currency reports

By Adrian Garcia - Digital Journalist, Jessie Degollado - Reporter, Adam B. Higgins - Photojournalist

NEW BRAUNFELS - New Braunfels police are warning city residents and businesses, and those in surrounding areas: Don't be fooled by fake movie money.

On Tuesday, officials with the New Braunfels Police Department said it is receiving an alarming number of reports of people getting duped by the fake money.

The money meant to be a novelty is being to used to steal property or services, NBPD officials said.

In photos shared by the Police Department, a $100 bill is seen with pink Chinese symbols on the front and back of it.

Another $100 bill is seen with writing that says, "For motion pictures purposes."

The Police Department shared helpful tints on what look for when spotting fake currency.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

Fake bills can look extremely similar to real bills unless you know what to look for. While it may seem obvious, sometimes it’s the obvious that goes undetected.

  1. Check for bills marked with "For Motion Picture Purposes" or the words "In Props We Trust."
  2. Check for bills marked with Asian writing or symbols on the front and/or back of the bill.
  3. Check for bills marked with the word "Replica" (often in fine print).
  4. Check the size of the bill – often fake currency is either smaller or larger than a real bill.
  5. Check the "feel" of the paper and if it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't.

WHAT TO DO

  1. If you or an employee at your business is handed one of these bills, the No. 1 thing to do is to NOT ACCEPT it as payment for property or services. That means remaining vigilant during every transaction to avoid accepting this type of bill as payment. Then what?
  2. Call the NBPD at 830-221-4100 immediately and report the incident. If possible, report it at the time of the transaction. It’s possible the person trying to pass the bill may not even realize it’s fake, so this doesn’t have to be confrontational. Explain the situation to the other person and call the police for assistance.
  3. If the transaction has already taken place, still call the NBPD so it can document the issue. However, be prepared that the fake bill will become evidence and there is no reimbursement for the money you or your business may have lost.

In a statement, the United States Secret Service said they have seen in the San Antonio-area a rising trend of people using fake money.

"The San Antonio area typically has approximately $1 million in counterfeit notes passed per year (all denominations) in the community, and our Secret Service San Antonio Field Office works diligently with our state and local partners in investigating/prosecuting the suspects who manufacture and pass the counterfeit notes. We have investigated numerous passes of the 'Motion Picture' notes as well as the 'Chinese Character' notes at various businesses in the San Antonio District so we can say for certain that they are being used fraudulently and in a 'deceptive manner' which is one of the considerations for charging a suspect with possession and or passing. In addition, the Motion Picture/Chinese Character Notes are the same linear dimensions as genuine Federal Reserve Notes and are printed on both sides which is a major factor in classifying them as counterfeit US Currency."

A spokesperson for the Secret Service said the fake money is "showing up and being passed all over the country, and we have seen them here in San Antonio and various other municipalities throughout South Texas."

To learn how to spot fake bills, click here to visit the Secret Service's website.

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