Since the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) released the redesigned naira notes in the denominations of N200, N500 and N1,000, fake notes of the new N1,000 notes have been reported to be circulating in the economy.
The CBN, however, has said that the banknotes are protected by some security features to enable the easy recognition of genuine notes. However, Daily Trust highlights some guidelines for Nigerians to easily differentiate a counterfeit naira note from a genuine one.
One of the distinguishing features between the fake and the real notes can be recognized by touch and visibility. If the texture of the naira note is soft and the image in it appears dull, it is likely to be a fake one. This means that you should be sensitive to the touch of the money you are given when involved in any transaction.
The N1,000 note has a gold foil on the right side, just near the CBN Governor’s signature. If you scratch the gold foil of a fake note it will peel off instantly but the gold foil on the original note does not peel.
Use water or other liquid substance
Another way to differentiate between the fake currency from the original is by using water or other liquid substance. It is said that the colours used in printing counterfeit notes are soluble in water and some other liquids.
If you are not certain about the originality of a Naira note, dip it in water or petrol and scrub it gently. The colours will change immediately if it is fake money. The colours of the counterfeit money will wash off, but the colours of the real note will not wash off when immersed in water or any liquid.
Examine the ribbon/thread
There is a security thread which appears like a ribbon on all Naira notes, running from the top to the bottom. In the real notes, this thread can be felt with a touch. It is more noticeable on old Naira notes. However, in fake notes, there is something that looks like the thread but it is not. In the counterfeit notes, what is there is just a straight-line painting that looks like the thread in the original notes. If you scratch the painting, it will easily peel off.
Use mercury bulbs
Some qualities of the paper Naira notes cannot be seen with the naked eye. These features are only in original Naira notes, and one cannot see them except with the help of mercury bulbs. For instance, if a real N1,000 note is placed under the rays from a mercury bulb, it will show a shining 1000 (in numbers) written across the note. The same is applicable to smaller denominations.
Protected against photocopying
The new Naira notes are also protected against photocopying. There are also features, which are visible under ultraviolet light; for example, the serial number on each banknote is black but turns green under ultraviolet light.