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How to Know if Your New Money is Fake or Real

Swap all your old banknotes for new ones by the 31st! Or else…

| December 9, 2015

In three weeks, the Philippines’ old money or the New Design Series (NDS) that we’re all familiar with will cease to have value. Meaning, if you didn’t catch that last part, you can’t use them to pay for things anymore, regardless if you’re rolling in them.

Starting January 1, 2016, NDS will be replaced by the New Generation Currency (NGC). But, you can still swap your 30-year old banknotes with new ones until December 31, 2016. Thereafter, the old that we’re all familiar with will just be mere paper.

(OFWs, though, can still have their old banknotes replaced as long as they register online starting October 1, 2016 to December 31 , 2016 through the BSP Website.  These old banknotes may be exchanged with the BSP within one year from the date of registration.)

Universal and commercial banks, thrift banks, rural and cooperative banks are the only ones authorized by the BSP to exchange NDS banknotes to NGC. There will be a surge of scammers targeting on unsuspecting victims. With counterfeit bills almost identical to the real ones, many of these frauds might actually get through.

Don’t let these scammers fool you and keep these 8 things in mind before receiving any new NDS bills.

8. Make sure the texture is rough

NGC banknotes are made of abaca fibers instead of linen in a cotton-based substrate in an effort to make them harder to counterfeit. The new bills are rougher and more distinguishable from the smooth surface of fake ones.

 

7. Check for blue and red fibers

Red and blue fibers are visibly scattered one both sides of NGC bills. These fibers are become more visible when you put the bill under UV light.

 

6. Make sure the bill has the correct denomination, Filipino icon, natural wonder, and symbol of nature

A kind of modus operandi that’s been making rounds in the news lately are scammers turning 20-peso bills into 50-peso bills. They do this by coloring the 20-peso bill into a darker red just like that of a 50-peso bill, and they write over the value in the bills’ corners. The only thing they can’t change is the face of Manuel Quezon. So if ever you get your bills exchanged or have bills given to you, make sure the Filipino icons on the money are who they should be.

Other details you should also remember are the different natural wonders and symbols of nature printed on all the bills.

 

5. Look for the hidden watermarks

Turn the bill against a light and the shadow of the portrait with it’s denomination can be seen on the right, white and vacant part of NGC bills’ front side.

 

4. Check the security threads under a UV light

Security threads are the invisible lines that vertically run through the bills. For the 20 and 50-peso a straight line shows when against a light or under a UV light. For 100, 200, 500 and 1000-peso bills, the security threads change color from red to green with the text “BSP” and the denominational value on the obverse and “BSP” on the reverse, both in repeated series. These threads are embedded on the bills, which makes it hard for scammers to copy.

 

3. Make sure 500 and 1000-peso bills have Optically Variable Device (OVD) Patches

The two highest denominations, the Php 500 and Php 1,00o bills, have OVD patches. These patches are made of reflective foil with a Blue-naped parrot (for Php 500 bills) and a South Sea pearl (for Php 1000 bills). The patch, changes color from red to green when the note is rotated. 1,000-peso bills also have denominations on the lower right corner printed using Optically Variable Ink (OVI) which changes colors when the bill is tilted.

 

2. Feel the embossed text like your life depended on it

Via gov.ph

Most of the text on NGC bills are embossed so that when you run a finger through the words “Republika ng Pilipinas,” you’ll actually feel the raised print.

 

1. Read through the smallest details for inconsistencies

You can’t be too careful in checking the authenticity of your money especially with the expected boom of counterfeits soon.

Make sure the alphanumeric serial number of your money is in the corners and are written on in increasing font sizes when read from the left. Take note of the baybayin script on top of the lower right corner denomination that means “Pilipino.” The spelling and signatures of the president of BPI and the country should also be spelled correctly and consistent with other bills/documents. If you see any typos or inconsistencies, return the banknote/s to the source immediately and report it to authorities.

Share your thoughts and tips in the comments!