How to Identify a Fake Currency Note

The problem of fake or counterfeit currency is widespread and not limited to one or two countries. By printing fake currency notes and bringing them into circulation, criminals hurt the economy of the country and slow down its progress. If you are not alert and do not know how to identify a fake currency note, you can be easily duped by a trickster. You are left with a worthless piece of paper that can cause further trouble for you by the authorities in your country. To identify a fake currency note each country has included a number of security measures in their real currency notes such as security thread, water mark, raised print, and many other. This article attempts to make it easier for you to identify a fake currency note by highlighting some basic tests to distinguish a real currency note from a counterfeit note.

How to Identify a Fake Currency Note – India

Problem of counterfeit money is acute in India. These notes come into circulation and mingle with the real notes making it difficult for anyone to identify a fake currency note. They look almost real, but there are certain features in a real currency note that are difficult for criminals to replicate.

How to Identify a Fake Currency Note

Test 01- Paper quality

People who handle currency all the time can easily tell if the note is real or fake by mere touch as the paper quality of fake notes is different from the real ones. The crispness and solid feel of real notes are not there in fake currency notes.

Test 02 – Raised mark in intaglio

There is a different raised mark in different currency notes to help visually impaired people recognize the denomination of the note. It is a circle in a 500 rupee note, a triangle in a 100 Rupee note, and a square in a 50 Rupee note. You can feel it with closed eyes and tell if the note is real or not.

Test 03 – Security thread

Every Indian currency note carries a security thread that RBI and Bharat written over it. If the thread does not carry RBI and Bharat inscribed on it, you have a fake note in your hands.

Test 04 – Light test

If you look at the note by keeping it horizontal to the level of your eyes towards a light source, you can see the denomination printed over the surface of the currency note.

How to identify a fake currency note – USA

US Currency

US dollar has a very high exchange value against most currencies of the world. This is the reason criminals print counterfeit USD.

Test 01- Paper quality

Real USD is made using cotton and linen fibers while fake notes are made suing common paper from trees. You can feel the difference when a fake note comes in your hands.

Test 02 – Raised ink

You can feel the text even with closed eyes as it is printed in intaglio on a real note. In counterfeit USD, normal ink is used that cannot be felt by touch.

Test 03 – Fingernail scratching

You can feel ridges on the overcoat of the figure printed on real USD while there are no ridges felt in counterfeit note.

How to identify a fake currency note – UK

UK Currency

Sterling Pound is another currency that is the victim of fake notes.

Test 01 -Raised Printing

You can easily identify a real note as you can feel Bank Of England that is written in raised printing.

Test 02 – Watermark

You can also check the watermark containing the image of the Queen in an oval in the middle of the note if you see it in bright light by holding the note in a horizontal direction.

Test 03 – Security thread

You can also check the authenticity by looking at the silver thread at the back of notes.

In a similar fashion, you can easily identify a fake currency note if you go through the security features of the real currency note of that country.


Photos By: Partha Sarathi Sahana (CC BY 2.0), (CC BY 2.0), Howard Lake (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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