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Fake Indian Currency and How to Spot It

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Fake Indian Currency and How to Spot It

Indian currency.

Sharell Cook.

Unfortunately, the issue of fake Indian currency is a huge problem that's been growing in recent years. But how do you spot fake notes? Find out some tips in this article.

The Problem of Fake Indian Currency

The Reserve Bank of India has stated that 435,607 fake notes were detected during 2010-11. Yet, the really shocking thing is that these fake notes are often found in cash withdrawn from ATM machines at banks, particularly fake 500 and 1,000 rupee notes.

But where do the fake notes come from?

The Indian government believes that the notes are produced by foreign racketeers in Pakistan, on demand from Pakistan's military intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). India's National Investigation Agency found that fake Indian currency was used by Pakistani terrorists involved in the 2008 attack in Mumbai. Fake notes have also been seized not only from India but from Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Holland.

According to news reports, the main motive behind Pakistan's printing of the fake notes is to destabilize the Indian economy. It's a major issue for the Indian government, which aims to make the counterfeiting of Indian currency a terrorist offense under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

How to Spot Fake Indian Currency

There are a number of signs that indicate currency is fake. These include:
  • Watermarks that look thick. Counterfeiting gangs commonly apply oil, grease or wax to give the picture a translucent feel.
  • Imitation security threads that have been drawn or printed on, instead of being incorporated through the currency at the time of manufacture.
  • Figures that are out of alignment. Smaller or bigger number, inadequate gaps, and different alignments in numbers should be regarded with suspicion.
  • Printed lines that are broken and ink smudges.
  • Lettering used for the "Reserve Bank of India" that's thicker than usual.

However, the best way to spot fake Indian currency is to familiarize yourself with what real Indian currency looks like. The Reserve Bank of India has launched a website called Paisa Bolta Hai (money speaks) for this purpose. It contains printable pictures of each note denomination and detailed descriptions of its security features.

Do make sure that you check your Indian currency, as there is a significant chance of ending up with a fake note.

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