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Monday, November 4, 2013

Fake Currency in Kenya a Ticking Time Bomb

The amount, quantity and quality of fake money in Kenya has been steadily rising, making it hard to be sure whether the note you are holding in your hand is fake or real.
Most Kenyans are suspicious of the 500 and 1000 shillings notes and will take a 200, 50 and 100 shillings note without a second thought. People seem also to trust money from bank ATMs, bank tellers and supermarket tills. However, the fraudsters have become smarter and are targeting unsuspected areas like ATMs, and lower denominations like 200, 50 and  100 shillings notes.
How they succeed in sneaking these fake currency into the banking systems is still a mystery but  it may be during the loading of ATMs, often done by contracted security firms.

How Can You Evade the Fake Money Scum?
At some point in your life you may have handled fake money whether knowingly or unknowingly.
Being in possession of counterfeit money be it in local or foreign currency is a grave offense in Kenya which attracts a jail term not exceeding 5 years.
So in-order to be on the safe side, keen hawk-eyed, some measures should be taken when handling money to determine whether it is genuine or fake currency.
How do you detect if "money" is real or fake? You may wonder well……. here are pointers in detecting counterfeit money.
1. Portrait Watermark. A three dimensional portrait of a lion’s head can be seen when the note is held up to the light. The watermark has a three dimensional appearance with areas in varying tones of dark and light. Below the watermark is the value numeral of the banknote. This number can be seen when the note is held up to the light. Both the portrait and value numeral depict some brightness when held up to the light.
2. Serial Numbers The serial numbering style is asymmetrical and has progressively larger digits in adjacent positions. One set of serial numbers appears horizontally, the other vertically. The vertical serial numbers on the left hand side of the banknote glows under UV light
3. See Through Feature Each of the banknotes has a see through feature which forms a perfect complete elephant when held up to the light. When looked at from one side, the image does not form any recognizable feature unless when looked at up to the light.
4. Security Thread All genuine banknotes have a distinct interwoven thread running vertically down the right hand side of the notes. When held up to the light, the thread appears as a continuous line and it shows a series of text featuring the denomination numeral of the note and the letters CBK. The current generation of banknotes features two types of threads:-
For the 1000 and 500 shillings denominations, the thread is thicker and portrays a colour shift when viewed at angles. The 50, 100 and 200 shilling denominations have a thinner thread silver in colour and do not depict any colour shifts when viewed at angles.

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