Fake "Movie Money" continues to circulate around St. Louis
Authorities say 'motion picture' money, a form of counterfeit money is going around in the St. Louis area. Credit: KMOV
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -
Check the money in your wallet because more and more of the so-called "movie money" is showing up around St. Louis.
Where a legitimate bill will say, "United States of America," the counterfeit says, "For Motion Picture Use Only."
The secret service says make no mistake about it, it is not a novelty item.
Following a story News 4 ran earlier this month, the Secret Service says counterfeit currency continues to circulate around the city.
"Part of the problem is folks involved aren't necessarily calling police or notifying our office," Kristina Schmidt, Special Agent in Charge with the Secret Service of St. Louis, said.
If you accept the counterfeit money, you're basically out of luck.
"If you try to deposit it, they'll debit your account if you're a merchant," Schmidt said. "They won't take it so you're going to be stuck with it."
That's why employees accepting money from customers must be cautious and diligent in checking the bills.
Twice in Soulard someone tried recently to pass the "movie money" off as real.
Jeff Wicker has been bartending for 14 years, and a couple of weeks before Mardi Gras, a man tried to use a phony $100 bill.
"I go, 'Hey, look at this money, it's not right.' He's saying, 'Give me the money back.' I said, 'I'm not giving the money back, I'm calling police,' and he took off," Wicker said.
The bar policy states that employees are responsible for what they accept, so Wicker says he checks the bills closely. He looks for the security thread embedded in the paper.
"The blacklight will make the stripe glow like crazy on it so you know it's good," Wicker said.
Often times the fake money is used in transactions where people are buying or selling online.
"If you're doing an online transaction, meet in the parking lot of a bank, or by a police station," Schmidt said. "And basically don't complete the transaction until you've taken the case into the bank and let them look at it."
As for Wicker, we asked what he would say to the man trying to use it at the bar.
"You're lucky you got away. I was told we should have tackled you and had you arrested," he said.
For more information on counterfeit money, click here.
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