Fintotal News Analysis | Do You Happen to be Carrying Fake Banknotes?
Do You Happen to be Carrying Fake Banknotes?
Ruby Jacob, 03 Dec 2012

Two days back Reserve Bank of India (RBI) informed that there was steady rise in the number of counterfeit notes in circulation. Apart from attempts at detecting fake notes RBI has laid out a couple of other measures to tackle the counterfeit notes nuisance. Some of these are public education campaign for identifying fake notes, improvising on security features of notes and instructing banks to issue only genuine notes at their counters or ATMs.

Fake notes nuisance

In the year 2011-12 alone RBI had detected Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) of various denominations in the banking system having value close to Rs 25 crores. Like you'd have guessed this is just a tip of the iceberg. Government agencies have managed to detect about 25% of counterfeit currency notes in circulation. According to one government agency estimate there are about Rs 16,000 crores worth of fake Indian Rupee notes in circulation. Would you be surprised to find some forged notes in your wallet?

Much of the counterfeit notes originate in Pakistan where it is printed and sold for a quarter of its face value. Forged notes are common in real-estate transactions taking place in black. It is important to be vigilant about fake currency notes circulation since it could be a matter of national security. Counterfeit notes can be used by terrorists machineries for their activities as was the case in 26/11 attacks.

Circulating fake notes is an offence

Printing and/or circulating counterfeit notes is a criminal offence punishable with fine or imprisonment (ranging from 7 years to life imprisonment) or both. Of course none of us might be implicated in this, right? But remember that when you buy or sell in exchange for forged notes or tender it at a bank you are essentially circulating it! Relax; as long as you have not done it intentionally you won't be implicated. But everyone who is aware of fake notes being printed or circulated on intention is required by law to inform the police.

What to do with fake notes?

If you realize your currency note is not genuine produce it at the nearest police station where an FIR is to be filed. Do not destroy the notes; if you do you would be covering somebody's crime in an indirect manner.

If the bank cashier finds the currency note to be a counterfeit one on examination she would stamp on its face as 'Counterfeit Banknote'. You would be issued an acknowledgement receipt which must be signed by yourself and the cashier. Thereafter the forged note will be forwarded to the local police station for FIR investigation.

Save all the trouble, identify fake notes before taking possession

Prevention is much, much better than cure. With a little bit of patience you can make out counterfeit notes from the real ones. Especially in case of currency notes of large denominations like Rs 100, Rs 500 and Rs 1000 make a quick look out for identification marks.

Since according to recent RBI figures it is the Rs 500 denomination notes that have the highest number of counterfeits we have mentioned below a few look-outs in a genuine Rs 500 note.

1. Security thread

The silver security thread going through the breadth of the note has the words 'RBI' and 'bharat' inscribed in it. The thread changes colour from green to blue when viewed from different angles. It is seen as a single line from the back of the note. Fake notes could have gray line printed or an aluminium thread inserted.

2. Alignment in floral pattern

Floral pattern on the front and back of the note in the middle of the vertical band just next to the large blank space (having watermark) has numeral '500' inside it. The numerals on both sides appear as one when held against light. This too is a featured difficult to imitate with accuracy.

3. Watermark

Mahatma Gandhi's portrait hidden in the large blank space in the front left hand side of the note can be seen when held against light. You can also see multi directional lines and numeral '500' in the section.

4. Optically variable ink

Colour of the numeral '500' in the front centre changes from green when held flat to blue when tilted.

5. Intaglio print

There is a circle in the centre of the band at the front left hand side. This intaglio printed circle can be felt by touch. Similarly the print 'Paanch sau rupaiye' at the front centre is in intaglio.

If you find ink to be smudged, printed lines to be broken, variation in alignment of numerals, inadequate gaps in numerals treat it with suspicion. Identification for notes of other denomination is covered in a separate article.

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