When businesses big or small unknowingly accept fake money, they single handedly handle the full burden or loss; although counterfeit techniques are getting more and more complex, there are more than enough ways for them to recognize fake money from the real ones.
Fake money is a major problem is business as if accepted they’ll lose both the face value of the bill with any goods or services they provided to the customers who paid with the fake money bill.
Apparently, one in a million notes we see every day is counterfeit. So, how do we spot these counterfeits?
Simple, according to Bank Negara Malaysia, all we have to do is feel, look, tilt and check.
Feel the quality of paper as genuine banknotes are usually printed on very high-quality paper and manufactured from cotton. It has a unique feel, crisp sound and slightly rough in heavily printed areas. Fake ones would have poor paper quality and would feel similar to commercial type of paper.
Feel the intaglio (design that is engraved into the material) as counterfeit banknotes don’t have the feeling of the printing.
Look at the banknote against a light. Genuine banknotes carry a watermark portrait, security thread and perfect see through features. A watermark portrait of Yang DiPertuan Agong has three-dimensional effect and appears soft and shady without sharp outlines portrait. At the base of watermark, a denomination number is clearly visible.
The security thread will always look embedded in the paper. The hibiscus flower on the obverse will register perfectly with the same flower on the reverse of the banknote.
Fake bills will look like a drawing and the features would be simulated and rather blur.
Look under a magnifying glass to see the micro lettering on both sides f the bank notes, it should be sharp and not blurred. Use an ultra-violet light to see the Invisible fluorescent elements will be on both sides as well such as invisible fibers and phosphorescence squares.
With the RM10, RM50 and RM100 bills, iridescent stripe shines under a bright light and showing the banknote denomination and the name of BNM when the view angle is shifted. When changing the angle of view by shifting the banknote, a hidden image of denomination number i.e. 50 will be revealed in the centre of the PEAK square.
The lead feature is very difficult to counterfeit and counterfeiters may try replicating it by using a plain shiny foil. There is also not latent image of the denomination in the PEAK feature on the fake bills.
In short, the public inly have their senses to depend on when examining a possible fake bill, which is at the first level of security features. Level 2 is where the cash handler comes in using both their senses and also special equipment.
It is also important to mention that involvement of an individual in the counterfeit banknote market may result in prison time of up to 20 years.