A credit union in Bradley (IL) is warning residents and businesses about fake currency floating around the area. It looks strikingly real except for a couple key tipoffs that show the paper is prop money used in movies after a rash of similar incidents throughout the state.
Over the last couple weeks, Fieldstone Credit Union has received three fake bills. President Mark Baron said the fake cash looks realistic.
“For the most part, it looks like normal currency,” he said. “The photos of the president, the numbers at three corners, the serial numbers.”
Prop money that’s used in cinema is easily available online but carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years in prison if it’s used as real currency.
Baron said to look for a bill that feels odd. That’s one of the easiest ways to notice that you may have a phony note.
“They tear very easily, much more easily than a currency typically would and it has more of a feel like paper,” he said.
There have been a number of reports in recent months about fake currency being spent in Illinois. Decatur police said a fake $100 bill was spent at a local party supply store last September. One month later, Effingham Police reported bank notes meant to be movie props were used at least six times there. In October, police in suburban Countryside reported multiple $20 and $50 bills were given to businesses there. Those bills were more sophisticated, passing a test with an iodide detector pen meant to catch fakes.
The U.S. Secret Service is responsible for investigating counterfeit money circulation.