How to Identify Counterfeit Bills


We’ve all heard news reports regarding the rampant spread of counterfeit money in the country. It’s a scary thought to begin with but many of us may have unconsciously dismissed it in our minds, thinking we will never be victims to that. But the question is this – how can you even be sure that the bills you have in your pocket right now are authentic?

With today’s modern printing machines, copying devices, and imaging software programs, it has become easy for fraudulent individuals and groups to produce fake bills. This is the main reason why care and caution should be observed at all times. You’ll never know when fake bills (or even coins!) can be passed to you. As you handle cash each day, you need to be able to tell right then and there if you are holding genuine bank notes or not.

So how do you spot fake money? Here are some proven tips and tricks!

Be Familiar with the Real Deal

Of course, your most effective protective measure is to be very familiar with genuine bills from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Being aware of the bills’ distinct features (such as the color of the bills) will help you identify fake money very easily.

Feel the Paper

Genuine money is printed on special paper that feels rough when you touch it so that’s your first clue. Other than that, you also have to know that such bills do not glow when you use ultraviolet light. When you put it up against the light, the silhouette of the watermark portrait should be clearly visible – and take note that you can actually feel the contours of these portraits as you touch them.

Examine it Closely

Another important part of an authentic bill is the security fiber as well as the windowed security bill. Typically, the serial number should be composed of 2 letters and 6 or 7 numbers.

Printing quality of these bills are of high quality, meaning they are completely free from any smudges. Also, baybayin characters (spelling the word “Pilipino”) can be seen at the bottom right part as you hold the money up against the light.

Additional security features have been added for bigger bills such as P500 and P1,000. They both have optically variable device (OVD) patch that changes its color from green to red and then red to green.

As you become familiar with these basic characteristics, you will be able to save yourself from the hassle of receiving and using a fake bill.

In case you get counterfeit money or if you suspect what you have is a fake one, it is encouraged that you get in touch with the Cash Department of the Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas at:

Currency Analysis and Redemption Sub-Group

  • Room 202, Second Floor, Multi-Storey Building, BSP Complex, Malate, Manila
  • Telephone Nos.: 524-2777 or 524-7011 local 2296

Investigation Sub-Group

  • Room 302, Multi-Storey Building, BSP Complex, Malate, Manila
  • Telephone Nos.: 523-9806 or 524-7011 local 2388

Other than that, you may also visit them via local regional and sub-regional offices located in your area.

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