Police caution public on fake peso bills

(Photo from filipinonumismatist.com)

THE Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) warned the public against falling for fake peso bills this Christmas Season.

In a statement, PRO-6 spokesman Superintendent Gilbert Gorero reminded the public “that this holiday season requires intense community partnership to thwart criminalities particularly fraudulent acts and crime against property (theft and robbery).”

“In other regions, fake money circulates and we would like to warn the public to be aware of it. Be careful of the paper bill. Check for the authenticity of paper bills, as recommended by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas,” he added.

Gorero said persons who have fake peso bills must immediately report to the nearest police station.

“We continuously appeal for the public vigilance and cooperation in making the region the safest place to live, work, visit and do business,” he said.

A few days, the term “singkwenty” and “bengkwenta” trended on the internet.

The terms are hybrid of a singkwenta (50) and twenty (20) peso bills, which were originally “photoshopped” for fun.

One netizen recently posted on social media site Facebook that she was paid a “P50” bill while in Divisoria, a commercial center in Manila known for its low-priced goods.

But when she examined the money, it was real except that it was a P20 bill that was passed off as P50.

Someone colored the bill and erased the “2” and drew a “5” to make it appear as a P50 bill.

Gorero said they have yet to receive reports on the proliferation of fake money in Western Visayas.

Three months ago, Facebook user Kristy Ann Guevarra posted that she received fake money from a money changer in Iloilo City.

“Let us just not count the total amount they are giving us but let us all be cautious in detecting counterfeit money,” Guevarra said.

The BSP has issued an advisory on how to distinguish a real from authentic bills,

First is to touch the bill. By running your fingers through it, one would notice that real money has somewhat fought ridges since is it made of cotton and abaca. Fake money, on the other hand, is made of smooth paper.

Second, one should look for the watermark since “the blank white area on the front part of all Philippine bills have watermarks that match the image on the left.” The watermark becomes more visible by placing the money against the light and tilting it a bit.

Third, the security threads are also indications of authenticity as Philippine notes have embedded threads.

For 20 and 50-peso bills, the security thread is around 2mm wide, while those in 100, 200, 500, and 1000-peso bills are 4mm wide.

The public is also advised to look for the OVD (Optically Variable Device) patches for 500 and 1000 bills.

The BSP said the 500 and the 1000-peso bills have reflective round patches on the left front side of the note.

Real money bills also have serial numbers with two prefix letters and six to seven-digit numbers in increasing sizes. They also have embedded red and blue fibers which can be seen under UV light. The ancient “Baybayin” scripts can also be seen completely when money is placed against the light.

A real bill also has a concealed denominational value on the upper left side of the portrait which can be seen when money is slightly rotated and tilted downwards; security threads of larger denominations have the denomination and the initials of BSP repeatedly in small prints. The back portion of these threads is inscribed with micro-prints of BSP initials.

It is also important to check the bills’ authenticity while the source is present to raise doubts or concern about their money.

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