Bank Warns Of Counterfeit Notes

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The Central Bank of Barbados. (FP)

The Central Bank of Barbados is warning residents and business owners to be on the lookout for counterfeit money.

“In recent months, we have seen an increase in the number of counterfeit notes, particularly $100 notes from the older (2007) series and $20 notes from the new (2013) series, and we felt it was important to alert the public,” said Octavia Gibson, Deputy Director, Currency at the Central Bank.

“Several of the counterfeit notes we have found have the same serial number, so we are asking retailers not to accept notes with these serial numbers and anyone who might have received one to bring it to the Central Bank.”

Gibson made it clear that while the Central Bank was identifying serial numbers that were found multiple times, Barbadians should check all the notes they received, even those that did not bear the published serial numbers.

“As we have always done, we are encouraging people to familiarise themselves with the security features of genuine banknotes and to examine all the money they come into contact with.”

The deputy director also took the opportunity to remind the public that not only is it a criminal offence to make counterfeit currency, it is also an offence to knowingly offer one as payment, even if you were not the person who made it.

Major features of the 2013 series:

  • Two watermarks on the left of the note that become visible when the note is held up to the light. For each denomination, these watermarks are the person featured on the portrait and the note’s denomination.
  • A security thread near the centre of the note. The thread initially appears as a series of bars printed from the top to the bottom of the paper, but when the note is held up to light it becomes an unbroken line that reads “CBB” and the note’s denomination. On the $2, $5, and $10, the bars are silver and wave-like, while on the $20, $50 and $100, the bars change colour from red to green when the note is tilted.
  • A holographic patch on the right of the $50 and $100 note. On the $50, the main image is the pelican, while on the $100 the main image is the heraldic dolphin. When the note is tilted, that image, as well as the background images – broken tridents, Pride of Barbados flowers and the note’s denomination – appear and disappear and change colour.
  • Images that glow under UV light. Under UV light, the waves and broken trident in the centre of the note fluoresce. On the $2, $5, and $10, these glow in a shade of green, while on higher denominations, they glow in two colours: pink and green ($20), green and yellow ($50) and yellow and green ($100). Tiny fibres also fluoresce under UV light and the note’s denomination appears.

Major features of the 2007 series:

  • A watermark on the left of the note that features the map of Barbados. The image becomes visible when the note is held up to the light.
  • A secondary watermark to the right of the primary watermark. On the $2, $5, and $10, the image is of the broken trident. On the $20, $50 and $100, the image is of the Pride of Barbados flower.
  • A security thread near the centre of the note. The thread initially appears as a series of bars printed from the top to the bottom of the paper, but when the note is held up to light it becomes an unbroken line that reads “CBB” and the note’s denomination. On the $2, $5, and $10, the bars are silver and wave-like, while on the $20, $50 and $100, the bars have a silver sheen. The security thread on the higher denominations fluoresces under UV light.
  • A highly reflective foil on the right of the $50 and $100. On the $50, there is an aquamarine pelican, while on the $100, there is a gold dolphin. On both notes, the foil is overprinted with the Pride of Barbados flower.

Images of the new notes and more information about the security features of this and previous series can be found on the Central Bank of Barbados website. Click here to also download the list of serial numbers found on multiple counterfeit notes.

Central Bank of Barbados

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