18th October 2022
Internet Delivers Movie Money Directly to You – and the Criminals
FLOOD OF STICK-ON HOLOGRAMS
If you have been enjoying a new blockbuster movie at the theatre or binge watching the latest series on your sofa, then you’ve most likely seen impressive piles of cash. This is actually fake cash, manufactured as a prop, especially for the camera. This so called “movie money”or “prop money” can enhance any film production. Not long ago, movie money wasn’t very easy to get, much less even know about. The internet, like with so many things, has changed that. Today, movie and prop money is widely and cheaply promoted via the internet – and this has opened up whole new fields of opportunity for cons, criminals and counterfeiters.
An expert in the expanding field of cyber psychology, Mary Aiken addressed a group of central banks and banknote producers in 2018. She remined what makes being online so attractive even compelling to us. She noted that the cyber world was not a passive experience like watching television, but is instead “highly interactive, highly engaging and highly immersive.”
Behaviors Once Considered Odd Can Be Seen as Normal
“Movie money is the public face of this in a way. The difference is that movie money doesn’t hide on the Darknet, it’s loudly and proudly promoted,”says Niedeck. Buying and owning fake money that looks realistic is not always illegal but selling them as legal money or passing them as cash is.
“Movie money is not highly deceptive” says Nick Pearson, Principal Currency Technologist at Crane Currency. “The problem starts when the internet compels thousands of consumers to purchase them on a whim and then hundreds of thousands of fake notes are now out there. At this point, it becomes a certainty that some will be passed off as genuine. And more nefariously, someone will start using them as a convenient starting point for making counterfeits that can be very deceptive.”
Movie money is highly available for purchase online
A Dangerous Combination – Movie Money and Holograms
“When something we know is wrong, but easy to do or acquire, we are good at rationalizing that it is okay,” says Tod Niedeck, who drew inspiration from Aiken’s book The Cyber Effect.
“Just as the internet popularized downloading copyrighted music, the same popularization of holding movie money and even taking the steps to improve it by applying stick-on holograms has to be considered. In the past, the materials and know-how needed to create fake banknotes was shared between criminals and countered by law enforcement. Today the materials, ‘hacks’ and even the idea of creating counterfeits are broadcast online,” says Niedeck.
A selection of movie money and cashier’s training notes.