Funny Money

Published 10:02 am Thursday, July 21, 2016

AHOSKIE – They look real; they feel real…but in the grand scheme of things they’re worthless.

Three cases of novelty money being passed at local businesses have been reported in Ahoskie this week. Police Chief Troy Fitzhugh is strongly advising business owners as well as the general public to pay attention to the cash they accept.

“These bills are a novelty item that one can purchase from a website; they’re legal to purchase, but it’s illegal to pass them off as real United States currency,” Fitzhugh stressed.

He added that these bills, available online in $100, $50 and $20 denominations, are clearly marked For Motion Picture Use Only.

“Those words are in the upper right quadrant of the front of the bill, basically where a real bill is marked United States of America,” Fitzhugh explained. “However, three of them, each one a $100 novelty item, have been passed in Ahoskie this week. Our local merchants need to be aware of this and closely check each and every bill they accept.”

Fitzhugh stressed that the bills he saw looked very authentic.

“They look real, but they do lack security features found on legal currency such as the interior strip and the watermarks,” he said. “These bills are not all that deceptive because they’re clearly marked For Motion Picture Use Only. These bills are used as props in movies and TV shows.”

Fitzhugh advised local merchants if an attempt is made to pass one of those bills at their place of business, do not accept it. He also asked merchants to instruct their clerks/cashiers to attempt to get a description of the individual passing these novelty items, to include what type of vehicle they are operating and license plate number if possible.

“Do not attempt to physically restrain a person passing these types of bills; rather call the Ahoskie Police (332-5011) or your nearest law enforcement agency to report it,” Fitzhugh said.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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