Fake cash still gets in your pocket

2010-05-08 09:53

The ability to identify security features on banknotes remains a

challenge for many consumers.

The fake R200 notes that in

circulation shows that the battle against crime is far from over.

Fake notes worth R1 million could be

in circulation, according to the Consumer Goods Council.

Michael Broughton, a ­director of ­criminal investigations at the

council, said retailers were more vulnerable than ­members of the public because

they ­handled higher volumes of money.

Small businesses, especially spaza shops that did not have machines

to validate the authenticity of notes, were most vulnerable to counterfeit

money, he said.

Broughton said the council received many calls from concerned

traders when the counterfeit notes started to flood the market early this year.

“It is important that consumers familiarise themselves with the security

features on the notes,” he said.

Some retailers have now taken measures to limit their exposure to

fake notes. A popular sign at many tills across

the country is: “Due to unforeseen circumstances, we will no longer be accepting

R200 notes.”

The South African Reserve Bank has ­advised members of the public

to present any counterfeit notes they have for exchange at ­commercial banks

before the end of the month.

After that, only the central bank will accept the fake notes for exchange.

Reserve Bank spokesperson Samantha Henkeman refused to comment on

how counterfeit notes came into circulation and how they landed in ATMs.

But she did say the matter was under investigation.

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