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insight

Four tips on identifying counterfeit banknotes

(Translation)

Ronnie:

Mina, why are you counting your banknotes?

Mina:

I’m going to get hold of our colleagues in the Currency team. There have been news reports about counterfeit HK$50 banknotes in recent days and I’m afraid I might have some in my possession. As I work at the HKMA, I can conveniently ask colleagues in the Currency team for some tips on identifying the security features of banknotes. Although HK$50 is not a large sum, it’s still enough to buy a lunch!

Ronnie:

The HKMA attaches great importance to the issues about fake banknotes, and has immediately contacted the Police after hearing the news. We learnt that the newly spotted HK$50 counterfeits were crudely made with the use of a printer. The metallic thread was simply glued onto the banknotes! I think even a layman like you would be able to identify them with the naked eye.

Mina:

How do you know all these?

Ronnie:

Because I have already asked our expert Lydia, who blamed me for not being able to identify counterfeit banknotes even though I work for the HKMA.

Mina:

How embarrassing – I only know how to count my banknotes!

Ronnie:

Well, better late than never. Let me share with you four smart tips on identifying fake banknotes:

  • First, check for a dynamic colour-changing pattern with a shimmering horizontal bar rolling up and down on the upper right hand corner of the banknote;
  • Secondly, a metallic thread should be woven into the banknote;
  • Thirdly, the banknote should have a strong embossed feel by touch, and
  • Fourthly, there should be a watermark.

You can check out more details on identifying fake banknotes on the HKMA website:
http://www.hkma.gov.hk/eng/classroom/page/notescoins/security.htm

Mina:

I feel better now that you’ve explained the security features. But what should I do if I’m still in doubt after receiving a dubious-looking banknote even with your tips?

Ronnie:

Well, you should report it to the Police.

Mina:

Thanks Ronnie! As you’ve made everything crystal clear to me, I don’t think I need to check with Lydia now.

 

Written by Ronnie and Mina, the two specially-assigned ‘Observers’ who go around the HKMA office in IFC, Central, collecting interesting facts and sharing them with you from time to time.

15 June 2016

Last revision date: 15 June 2016
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