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Money Dec 15, 2012

What do banks do when they spot a fake note?

By Bindisha Sarang

Fake notes are so rampant in India that getting one in a transaction is almost a common place now. It could be from a cab driver, your friend, the shop keeper or even an ATM machine. Finance Minister P Chidambaram, recently reiterated that fake currencies are a problem "that arises from across the border". He said steps have been taken to prevent entry and circulation of fake notes, a menace that has potential to destabilise the economy.

But what happens if you get a fake note? It depends on where you identify the fake note.

For instance, if you are at a bank branch to deposit some cash and the banker (or the counterfeit note identification machine) spots a fake note.

Reuters

Once the bank identifies (after examination of various safety features) the note is indeed counterfeit, they put a stamp the note saying "COUNTERFEIT BANKNOTE IMPOUNDED". The official enters the details of the note in a separate register.

After impounding and stamping the note, the banker gives you an acknowledgement receipt. And, you are expected to countersign the receipt. Even if you are unwilling to countersign the receipt the bank will still issue you an acknowledge receipt.

If there are up to four fake notes detected, in a single transaction, then the bank sends a report to the local police authorities along with the notes. The report will carry your name, along with other details.

If five or more fake notes are detected in a single transaction, the fake notes are forwarded to the local police station. But, that's not all. A first information report (FIR) is also filed for further investigation. It too mentions your name and address, along with details or denomination and number of pieces of fake notes.

If you think, that's hardly an issue. Think again. Under no circumstance will the bank return the note to you, or give you compensation for the note you just lost. So you simply lose the money.

If you think you are smart enough to not approach the bank and instead palm off the note to someone else, don't do it either. If you are caught intentionally palming off the note to someone else, you could get into trouble, if they approach the police. So, what can you do? Nothing much. If you have a fake, you will lose the money. But, you could practice caution by knowing how to identify fake note, to avoid getting them in the first place. Keep tracking this space, to know how to identify a fake note. Until then, Good luck!

by Bindisha Sarang

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