The phenomenon has continued to grow since April. The circulation of “movie money” in the real economy is becoming a real problem in France, the country most affected in Europe by this somewhat unusual traffic. “Movie money” is indeed the name given to fake banknotes that are used as props on movie sets. But these denominations, mostly 20 and 50 euros, have recently appeared in the tills of French stores.
According to the Central Office for the Repression of Counterfeiting (OCRFM), quoted by the Huffington Post, the phenomenon “appeared in Europe around April. It started with a few copies, now we have several thousand”. About 42% of European “movie money” is currently circulating in France and around a hundred investigations have been opened in three months. Procedures which have made it possible to arrest several people following parcels intercepted by customs, but which are struggling to stem the phenomenon.
It must be said that it is rather easy to obtain this counterfeit money and sell it in small shops or fast food restaurants. It can be bought online on “Chinese sites like Aliexpress” for a ridiculous price “less than 10 euros for 100 copies”, explains to France Info the divisional commander Alain Bateau, deputy to the head of the OCRFM. These cuts are however easily identifiable, in the upper left corner of the ticket, under the flag of the European Union, one can read the mention “Movie money”. It replaces the signature of European Central Bank boss Mario Draghi. In addition, in a margin, appears the sentence “this is not legal. It’s to be used for motion props” (“This ticket is not legal tender. Its use is reserved for the cinema”).
⋙ To read also: Beware of fake sites that scam you on Facebook
Counterfeit notes that are easily spotted, but which are popular in France. And for good reason: the mentions “accessories” which appear on the banknotes allow the manufacturers to avoid the 30 years of imprisonment and 450,000 euros in fine incurred in France by the classic counterfeiters. They only risk a sentence of one year in prison and 15,000 euros, because the cuts “are the same size as the real euros”, explains the divisional commander Alain Bateau.
Receive our latest news
Each week, the key articles to accompany your personal finance.