EL PASO, Texas - Counterfeit money reported by El Paso Police was used for hand-to-hand transactions.
Police say they received several reports of counterfeit money being passed around with various serial numbers and banknote identifiers, but also the phrase "For Motion Picture Use Only" on the bills. They say they were used to purchase items being sold by another person.
"We don't know that this money has turned up in any businesses across town but definitely in some hand-to-hand transactions for people looking to purchase items that people were offering for sale," El Paso Police Spokesman Darrel Petry said.
Local business owners are taking precaution. El Paso's Finest, a shop with local items near San Jacinto Plaza, says they check every bill.
"I am on the lookout, I do want to see one, and not that I want to take it, but I definitely want to see one and see what it is, I know they're out there," Co-owner Juan Barbosa said.
Police say counterfeit money was being passed around in denominations of $100, $50 and $20 bills. The $100 bill has no Benjamin Franklin watermark or security thread when held up to the light.
The money used is similar to postings for prop money on Amazon. Police say it isn't illegal to possess the money, but it's illegal once it's passed around. Police say it's considered a Class A misdemeanor with an added charge of theft (depending on the value of the item bought) since it was used to purchase an item. Counterfeiting U.S currency is a federal offense and third degree felony.
The El Paso Police Department is asking for anyone who comes into contact with this counterfeit money to call El Paso Police immediately.