Remain vigilant over fake money this Christmas, warns ECCB

The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank is urging the public to be aware of fake banknotes circulating over the festive period.

Times of “heightened commercial activity” and large public gatherings are of particular risk, the ECCB said, so people should be vigilant especially at night or in dimly lit situation.

The bank is warning that counterfeit notes have no value, and that people in possession of them may be prosecuted.

Security features, such as watermarks, novel numbering and raised print should be present in legitimate notes.

How to tell it is real

  • When a banknote is viewed from the front under reflected UV light, the letters “ECCB” and the denomination value of the note are clearly visible in yellow, against a blue background.
  • A second security thread is also present which is a narrow, continuous black line to the left of the Queen’s portrait.
  • The notes bear a highly reflective silver foil, which shows the denomination. The letters ECCB and the denomination can be seen in small print around the foil. For added security, the foil is over-printed with a raised print.
  • A mould-made watermark depicting Queen Elizabeth II appears three-dimensional, when held up to the light.
  • Each individual banknote bears a unique serial number, which is printed vertically on the left hand side of the note and horizontally in “novel” numbering style on the right hand side.
  • Additionally, when the genuine note is held up to the light, parts of the fish fill in, as the area on the back of the note line up perfectly with the front.
  • The general public reminded that genuine bank notes are printed on special paper that gives them a unique feel.

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