New Braunfels police are asking folks to be on the lookout for fake cash, as reported exchanges of currency designed as movie props have increased in recent weeks.
“New Braunfels Police Department has seen an increase in the number of reports of people who have been fooled by fake currency that is meant to be a novelty, but instead is being used to steal property or services,” said David Ferguson, NBPD communications coordinator.
As in the movies, the cash looks and feels almost real. Ferguson said police haven’t been overwhelmed with reports of the fake bills, but want to publicize their existence – and are asking the public to take time to conduct a closer inspection.
“We want people to pay attention in order to avoid becoming a victim,” he said. “It may seem obvious, but sometimes it’s the obvious that goes undetected.”
Police urge that residents especially check bills for:
• Slogans such as “For Motion Picture Purposes” or “In Props We Trust.”
• Asian writing or symbols on the front and/or back of the bill.
• The word “Replica” (often appearing in fine print).
• Bills that seem smaller or larger, or printed on paper with a different feel, than real bills.
“If you or an employee at your business is handed one of these bills, the No. 1 thing to do is to not accept the bill as payment for property or services,” Ferguson said. “That means remaining vigilant during every transaction to avoid accepting those types of bills as payment.”
Those suspecting phony currency should immediately call NBPD at 830-221-4100 to report it, preferably at the time of the transaction.
“It’s possible the person trying to pass the bill may not even realize that it’s fake, so it doesn’t have to be confrontational,” Ferguson said. “Explain the situation to the other person and call police for assistance.”
Even after such a transaction has been completed, he said call police to document it.
“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,” Ferguson added.
For more on the differences and characteristics of real and fake currency, visit the U.S. Secret Service website, www.secretservice.gov/data/KnowYourMoney.pdf.