9 Ways to Check Fake Peso Bills

Published: March 10, 2018 | Updated: January 6, 2020 | Posted by: Katrina Guevarra | Personal Finance

Fake money is widespread nowadays. And there’s nothing more disappointing than your money being flagged as fake during a transaction at a retailer or a fast food joint. Philippine peso bills are manufactured using secured methods and within a secured facility. According to a column by retired Monetary Board member, Ignacio Bunye, our paper bills are printed on security paper.

Printing is executed through intaglio and offset printing techniques done in Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ Security Plant Complex (SPC).

However, it can be hard to tell a fake bill from a real one if you’re not aware of what features to look at. To make sure you are getting real Philippine paper bills, here are the things you can do.

1. Pay Attention to the Color and Serial Number

Compared to real peso bills, fake ones would either be lighter or brighter in color. So, when receiving cash, make sure to check for any inconsistencies. Also check for duplicate serial numbers, as this almost always signifies that the bills you have are fake.

2. Check the Texture

Philippine peso bills are made of abaca and cotton fibers, which add to its security features. Typically, counterfeiters would not be able to replicate the real bill’s subtly rough texture so fake peso bills will come out smoother.

3. Look for Raised Text and Images

Apart from the texture of the bill, you should also check for raised images. Likewise, the text and numerical value at the bottom should be raised as well as they are embossed.

4. Try Damaging the Bill

Rub some water on the paper bill. If the color smudges and the bill starts tearing, it could be a sign that the money you have is fake. Also, try to scratch the bill. If the printing smears or shows any sign of damage, it could be counterfeit.

5. Check for the Watermark

One security feature that Philippine paper bills bear is the watermark. So try putting the white space of the peso bill against a light source, and check for the watermark. If there is, check if it matches the image on the right side. If you can check using ultraviolet light, the better. If your paper bill meets this requirement, then it’s real. If it doesn’t, then it’s most likely fake.

6. Check Security Thread

Another thing you should pay attention to is the security thread. All Philippine paper bills have them in varying measurements. PHP 20 and PHP 50 bills have a 2mm wide thread, while PHP 100, PHP 200, PHP 500, and PHP 1000 bills have 4mm. The thread of the latter also changes color when you tilt the peso bill.

Fake Peso Bill | MoneyMax.ph

Instagram photo by @kristelanne93

7. Mind the Hologram

On the front left of the PHP 500 and PHP 1000 bills, check if there is a circular hologram patch on the front left. Make sure it changes colors when you tilt it. Since it is an OVD or an optically variable device, one cannot replicate or reproduce it accurately by any means.

8. Look at the Serial Number

Check the serial number–the characters in print should be ascending in size. The serial number should also consist of two alphabetical digits and six numerical digits. Parallel below the serial number, you can see characters in Baybayin when you hold the bill against the light.

9. Consider the Changes in Design

BSP have updated the design of the current Philippine bills we have in circulation, also known as New Generation Currency (NGC) Banknotes. You might want to be mindful of the changes below:

  • PHP 200 – updates in the images in the front part of the banknote specifically those depicting the Declaration of Philippine Independence and Opening of the Malolos Congress.
  • PHP 50 – revision of text from “Leyte Landing” to “Leyte Landing October 1944”
  • PHP 1000 – removal of the image of the Order of Lakandula Medal and the phrase “MEDAL OF HONOR” in the front part of the banknote
  • All paper bills – changes in the format of the scientific names and bigger font size of the year mark of the banknotes.
Fake Peso Bills | MoneyMax.ph

Instagram photo by @susannaeksyma

What to Do If You Receive Fake Peso Bills

Given all these things you should look out for, you might be wondering— now what should I do if I get a fake paper bill? According to the Banknotes and Coins primer released by the BSP on January 2018, here is how one should handle counterfeit money:

  • Give temporary receipt to the owner/holder specifying the name, address,
    community tax certificate.
  • If one is a foreigner, he or she must indicate his or her passport number as well.
  • Provide more details like the date of receipt, denomination, serial number in the note
    or series in case of coins;
  • Ask the one who owns or holds fake peso bills to countersign the receipt.
  • If he or she refuses, the reason must be provided in writing.
  • Forward such fake peso bills for examination/due
    action. One must do this within five working days after the receipt to the CIIO, BSP, East
    Avenue, Quezon City.
  • In the event that personal delivery to CIIO is not likely, one can deliver
    the fake bills through the BSP’s regional
    offices/branches. Any banking institution under the supervision of the BSP will also suffice.
  • Finally, report to the CIIO-BSP, the Philippine National
    Police (PNP) or other law enforcement agencies, so that the necessary
    criminal charges based on the relevant articles in the Revised Penal Code can be filed.

Final Thoughts

While processing all these information may seem overwhelming at first, knowing how to check for fake peso bills and what to do in case you encounter them will serve you well. You’ll be more confident with your cash transactions and have peace of mind knowing that you’ll be able to take all the necessary precautions to avoid this kind of fraud.
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