ASHLAND, Va. (WRIC) — The Secret Service and Ashland Police Department is warning residents across Central Virginia to be on the lookout for counterfeit money this holiday season.
The department said fake bills, which are easily accessible for purchase online, may be marked, “FOR MOTION PICTURE USE ONLY,” have foreign writing on them or have inconsistencies in printing on the 3-D ribbon security feature.
While authorities in Ashland have not seen any counterfeit bills themselves, an Ashland police spokesperson told 8News they shared the warning on behalf of the U.S. Secret Service because counterfeit bills have been used “in the region.”
“Please be aware of these counterfeit bills,” the department posted on Facebook. “If anyone attempts to pass one of the described counterfeit notes, please obtain as much information as possible about the individual(s) and contact your local Police Department and the United States Secret Service.”
So far this holiday season, a college student in Houston was swindled out of $700. She told police she sold her iPhone through an app and met up with the buyer.
The person handed her “movie money” instead of real cash.
“She pulled out an envelope and said 700? I said ‘yes, ma’am.’ So she pulls out the money, counts it right in front of my face, puts it back in the envelope and hands it to me,” Tamara Malone said.
A quick internet search shows anybody can order the fake bills and easily in large quantities. With the holiday season underway, authorities are warning to be on the lookout for the money meant for the big screen.