The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, today alerted banks and Nigerians to beware of counterfeit bank notes, especially higher denominations now spent in food markets and other commercial hubs in the country.
According to Apex Bank, it is an offense punishable by imprisonment for any person to falsify, make, or counterfeit any bank note or coin issued by the CBN.
Recall that in December 2022, after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) released the redesigned Naira currency in the denominations of N200, N500, and N1,000, fake new Naira notes were circulated in the economy.
A fake currency is an imitation of currency produced without legal authorisation from the state government.
Identification of original Naira notes from fake pieces in the economy does not require a formal education, there are differences to look for.
This report reveals how fake Naira notes can be identified which will prevent good citizens from being scammed.
The Naira notes are protected by various security features to enable the easy recognition of genuine notes.
These are five simple guidelines on a Naira note that will help you to differentiate a counterfeit Naira from a genuine one.
Check the texture
If the texture of the Naira note is soft and the image in it appears dull, you have the right to be concerned, reject it and demand another one.
This means that you should be sensitive to the touch of the money you are given when involved in any transaction.
Observe the gold foil
The N1000 note has a gold foil on the right side, just near the CBN governor’s signature. If you scratch the gold foil of a fake note it will peel off instantly but the gold foil on the original note does not peel.
Use water or other liquid
You can differentiate fake currency from the original by using water or other liquid. Scammers release fake money and the colours they use in printing counterfeits are soluble in water and some other liquids.
If you are not certain about the originality of a Naira note, dip it in water or petrol and scrub it gently. The colours will change immediately if it is fake money. The colours of counterfeit money will wash off like an artwork painted with watercolour.
Again, the moment you immerse it in water, the paper becomes messed up. It will get rough and look more like a paper mache. However, the real note will not look like this when immersed in water or any liquid.
There is a thread which appears like a ribbon on all Naira notes, running from the top to the bottom.
In real notes, this thread can be felt with a touch. It is more noticeable on old Naira notes. However, in fake notes, there is something that looks like the thread but it is not.
In the counterfeit notes, what is there is just a straight-line painting that looks like the thread in the original notes. If you scratch the painting, it will peel off like the solver panel on recharge cards.
Use mercury bulbs
Some qualities of the paper Naira notes cannot be seen with the naked eye. These features are only in original Naira notes, and one cannot see them except with the help of mercury bulbs.
For instance, if a real N1000 note is placed under the rays from a mercury bulb, it will show a shining 1000 (in numbers) written across the note. The same is applicable to smaller denominations.
These five simple tips discussed above are enough for anyone to use to differentiate original Naira notes from fake ones.