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‘Movie money’ used as currency in Pike County

Troy Bank and Trust reported Tuesday that officials have received three replica bills meant only for cinematic use in the past two days.

“We want to make sure everyone is very aware of the money that they take in and try to use at different retail outlets,” said Dianna Lee, marketing and public relations officer. “Look at your money; sometimes it will feel different, in this case either the word ‘replica’ will be written very small on the bill or the words ‘for cinematic use only.’”

Lee said counterfeit money is typically pulled out of circulation and turned over to the secret service; however, this “movie money” must be handled differently.

“If we encounter one of these bills as a bank, we have to confiscate it and take it out of circulation,” Lee said. “They can be purchased legally for cinematic use, so we don’t turn them into the police, but they have to be confiscated and taken out of circulation.”

Troy Bank and Trust Vice President Mark Jordan explained how to tell if a bill is a fake.

“When we average Joes go buy food and say we pay with a $20, the change they are giving us back includes counterfeit money and we don’t know it, and they don’t know it,” Jordan said. “Now cinematic money is very obvious that it’s counterfeit, but we with a lot that is very good in nature … But currency is printed on paper built of cotton fibers. Counterfeit bills are usually printed on regular paper. A real bill also has several different security features such as raised numbers and holograms, and most all of the new bills have an actual strip in the bill on one end or the other that is illuminated under UV light.”

Jordan said it becomes a big deal because the person that ends up with the counterfeit money last usually has to take the loss.

“Most of the time it’s the businesses that find out when they’re making a deposit at the bank,” Jordan said. “That’s a direct loss to them.”