If you have ever been a victim of fake or counterfeit currency notes before then you know how painful it can be to suddenly realise what you have is not real money.

My first experience of fake/counterfeit money was during my University days. I went to a nearby store to buy a few items I needed. After making purchases and making with cash I made to leave only for the store owner to call me back.

“This is fake money”, he said.

I couldn’t quite understand what he meant by that. He went on to explain that the N1,000 I gave him was a counterfeit.

There are several ways to detect fake or counterfeit currency notes. Here are some of the most common methods:

  1. Watermark: Most currency notes have a watermark that becomes visible when held up to the light. This is a design element that is difficult to replicate.
  2. Security thread: Most currency notes also have a security thread that runs through the note. This thread is visible when held up to the light and has text or images that are difficult to replicate.
  3. Microprinting: Currency notes have very small text that is difficult to reproduce. This text is often used in borderlines, numerals, and other parts of the design.
  4. Ultraviolet light: Currency notes have special markings that are visible only under ultraviolet light. These markings are difficult to replicate and can reveal whether a note is fake or not.
  5. Color-shifting ink: Some currency notes have ink that appears to change color when the note is tilted. This is a design element that is difficult to replicate.
  6. Texture and feel: Currency notes have a specific texture and feel that is difficult to reproduce. Counterfeit notes may feel smoother or rougher than genuine notes.
  7. Serial number: Check the serial number on the note, as counterfeiters may often forget to change this detail.

It’s important to note that no single method is foolproof and the best way to detect fake notes is to use a combination of these methods. If you suspect a note is fake, compare it to a genuine note and report it to the authorities if necessary.


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