Real or fake? How to check your bills

Battle Creek third city in as many months to encounter bogus bills

Fake motion picture money in Grand Rapids
An image of some of the fake money circulating in Grand Rapids. (Grand Rapids Police Department)

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — For the third time in as many months, police in a West Michigan community are warning residents to watch out for bogus bills being passed off as real money.

Battle Creek police say they’ve taken several complaints of counterfeit cash circulating in the city over the past few weeks.

Fake motion picture money in Grand Rapids
An image of some of the fake money circulating in Grand Rapids. (Grand Rapids Police Department)

The fake $100 bills are readily available on eBay and other online stores as movie props. The phrase “MOTION PICTURE USE ONLY” appears on both sides of the counterfeit bills.

Grand Rapids police sent out an alert to residents about the movie prop money circulating in their city last month. In July, Norton Shores police found the same fake bills at several businesses.

>>PDF: Real or fake? How to check your bills

Battle Creek police say they’ve also seen an uptick in the number of fake $20 and $1 bills within the city.

People who handle money are encouraged to take the following steps to safeguard themselves from fraud:

  • Check each bill for a security strip, which contains a number that should match the bill’s denomination.
  • Ensure the money has the appropriate watermarks and no smudges in its print.
  • Businesses should using marking pens to check the authenticity of each bill.

Customers who encounter a fake bill should alert the cashier before leaving the counter if possible. If necessary, contact police.


Online: 

U.S. Currency Education Program

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