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Scams and Fraud in the Philippines - Fake Money/Checks/Gift Certificates

You should be wary when you’re looking to exchange Foreign Currency to Philippine Peso. There are a lot of Fake Philippine Money circulating around. Foreign Tourists are the most vulnerable victims since most of them don’t know how to distinguish a Fake Philippine Monetary bill from a real one. Most of the time, they hang out outside Foreign Exchange Centers and convince you to deal with them because they offer higher exchange rates. Do not deal with these people. It’s better to exchange your currency to a certified Foreign Exchange center (or even Banks) to be sure.

Here is a General Guideline to check if your Philippine Peso Note is Genuine

1. A genuine peso bill is printed on a special kind of paper which is rough to the touch.

2. Look for watermark
, which is the silhouette of the portrait appearing on the face of the note. Sharp details of the light and shadow effect can be seen when the note is viewed against the light.
3. Look for
security fibers - - the embedded red and blue visible fibers - are scattered at random on both surfaces of a genuine note security threads and the iridescent band.

4. Look for the presence of the embedded security thread which is a special thread vertically implanted off the center of the note.

5. There is a windowed security thread which is a narrow security thread vertically located like "stitches" at the face of the note with clear text of the numerical value in repeated sequence and changes in color from magenta to green or green to magenta depending on the angle of view.

6. There is the iridescent band on the newer versions of 100, 200, 500, and 1,000 Peso notes.

7. There are serial numbers composed of 1 or 2 prefix letters and six to seven digits. The letters and numerals are uniform in size and thickness and evenly spaced.

8. The are lines and dashes composing the vignette are fine, distinct and sharp; the varying color tone gives a vivid look to the picture that makes it "stand out" of the paper.

There are also people who try to sell or exchange Fake Checks and Gift Certificates. These people often hang out at Retail Establishments such as the Malls and Supermarkets. They will often try to exchange their Fake Checks or Gift Certificates saying that they need cash for emergency purposes and they can not encash their check because either the bank is close or they forgot their I.D.’s.

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