Hollywood “Fake Cash” Keeps Popping Up

February 18th, 2017 by

There’s a great deal of talk about “fake news” in the media these days, but we don’t as often hear about the growing pandemic of fake money.

Rather than a concerted effort by determined ne’er-do-wells, this recent spate of incidents involving fake money is actually a case of Hollywood not taking better care of its props!

Movie Props Gone Wrong

How closely do you inspect the paper money you receive as change, or spend at the grocery store? After hearing about this strange trend, you may want to double-check your cash in the future!

In several places around the country, from Missouri to Alaska, business owners have been encountering paper money that appears to be somehow off. At first glance, you might hardly bat an eye at the funny cash; however, upon closer inspection, there is indeed an obvious flaw in the design that confirms that they aren’t genuine. Both $50 bills and $100 bills have cropped up that mimic the real notes in every way except for the fact that they are prominently printed with “FOR CINEMATIC USE ONLY” and “FOR MOTION PICTURE USE ONLY” in bold lettering.


Credit: c_ambler [CC-BY 2.0]

You would have thought that this would be enough to make the purpose of these props obvious, but most people take for granted that their cash is real. There aren’t many reasons for someone to question the validity of such a note (although you may have assumed people were more careful with $50 and $100 bills!). So, in effect, these are counterfeit notes that loudly declare that they have no business being passed off as counterfeits. That doesn’t stop unscrupulous customers from trying to pass off the fakes all the same.

The first such notes showed up in Independence, Missouri in November of last year. More recently, the same type of “prop money” has been reportedly passed off in Alaska in no less than nine separate cash transactions. It remains unclear how or why the fake money made it out of the Hollywood studios and into circulation. The intention could certainly have been to consciously commit fraud, but it seems more likely that this is the result of a simple mishap.

The local police have alerted the public to be on the lookout for the worthless movie money.


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