Drivers who thought they were on the road to riches caused a huge traffic jam on the 10-lane Moscow Ring Road as they scurried out of their cars to pick up what looked like scattered money.
But the Wednesday morning chaos was all in vain.
"Somebody made a stupid joke" by throwing wads of bookmarks resembling 1,000 ruble notes ($35) along a stretch of the road circling Moscow, police spokesman Arkady Bashirov said. Sprinkler trunks were called in to wash away the fakes, he said.
A similar traffic jam happened last July — but with real money — when two Moscow officials detained with 10 million rubles ($350,000) in alleged bribe money threw the cash on the road.