Friday, October 29, 2010

Beware of Counterfeit money. How to differentiate fake SG $10 note!

The below article was printed in the local chinese newspaper, Lianhe Wanbao. and this is from their facebook .

I cannot believe it! This morning I searched my purse for the cabinet key so i can lock my bag inside my cabinet. Then, I thought my dollar notes were in a big mess, I wanted to sort them and put them into my wallet so that my purse would not be so cluttered.

One of the ten dollar notes, which were stacked in 4 pieces and folded, had a brown line and the texture felt weirdly thick and did not have a plastic feel. On closer look, I realised that it had two plastic components which also looked weird. I held it high up against the light but there was no visible sign of the President's face in the white space. As I used to collect notes, especially old notes, I know that one of the way to check for counterfeit notes is to check the white space against the UV light for the Lion or President watermark in notes.

I immediately asked my colleagues to check for me but they also cannot tell the difference if they don't look closely. I called up one Chinese Media but I think they didn't want to do a special feature on it because she said she would ask her boss. If he wanted to do so, she would call me at 1 plus. She advised me to take pictures before reporting to the police. I thought I could get some compensation because I was cheated of $10. Then I called up one of the police centres and he said I can report to any nearest npc.

What a waste of money! Got cheated of $10 for nothing. Perhaps I was still lucky because I heard that other people were cheated of $50. I have never imagined that it would ever happened to me. I guess that my life is indeed very eventful.

I couldn't recall where I have gotten the money from. I had a vague recollection that the money came from spending one of my $50 note and I think i got $46, 4 $10 and 3 $2 notes then from buying either food or beverage. It looked so real that I must have not noticed it as it was stacked in the midst of other $10 notes. Besides, I wasn't really feeling well these 3 weeks and I just returned to work last Monday. I don't go checking notes all day long. I always believe that if you are in Singapore, justice will prevail...

 Normally, I spend cash on meals, food and drinks.

Usually I use credit cards for purchases,basically only using cash where credit cards cannot be used. I just dumped my cash into my purse recently as my wallet is quite full.

After work, I reported to the Police, They asked how I know it is fake? Using common sense, it is easy to see the difference.

The young officer seemed to take a long time to type out my complaint. One hour plus to process one report. And I wasn't very happy with one of the older officers who asked me repeatedly where I found this note, asked me for my office location and seem to insinuate that the culprit must be someone in my workplace. But I repeated reinforced that I am sure (100% sure) I didn't get it from my workplace, because I used a different purse there containing mostly shillings and smaller change. $50 is too big to be used here to get change. I just happened to check my money then at my workplace. If  only I checked my money somewhere else, then my workplace will not be implicated at all. Stupid! Why must they be so insistent that it is one place they will look into?

He even asked one of his staff to switch on the lights, presumably to make sure they could capture my face in their surveillance cameras. It was 2pm and they didn't bother to switch on the lights earlier, why now?

I was quite uncomfortable with the way they handled the issue. I am not the culprit. I am reporting the incident as a responsible citizen who got cheated. I had to report in case others get cheated too. One of the other officers even took the note away to have more detailed examination even though it was none of his business.
The older man commanded him to return the note back to us. I wondered what's the rationale behind reporting to the police when you are being treated like a suspect, as if you are the one who is making the counterfeit note. Luckily, the older officer walked away. If he kept doubting me, I would have made a big scene there and then.

The young officer 'seized' my money and I had to sign some documents. I don't have the note now.

I did a search online and I found that recently there were cases of people making counterfeit money. I copied some of their information into this blog below (in Blue) that may be useful to all of us reading my blog, I hope they won't mind.

From Channel Newsasia 14 Aug 2010:
Fake $50 notes surface in Boon Lay Market and Food Centre.
SINGAPORE: Over the past four days, six hawkers at the Market and Food Centre at blocks 221, 221A and 221B in Boon Lay Place each received a fake 50—dollar note.

From Singapore Police Force's Facebook notes:
Crime Alert : Use of Counterfeit Money as Mode of Payment

Between 4 Aug 2010 and 11 Aug 2010, Police received 7 reports pertaining to counterfeit Singapore Portrait series currency notes bearing the following serial numbers:

From MAS: Distinguishing Counterfeit Notes updated 19/03/2007.
Identifiable Security Features in Presidential Notes:
- Engraved Portrait
- Protrait Watermark
- Intaglio (raised)Prints
- Lithographic Prints'
- Highlight Watermark
- Asymmetrical Serial Numbers (Vertical + Horizontal)
- Kinegram
- Lift Twin
- Micro-Printing
- Fluorescent Ink
- Anti-Colour Copying line Structures
- Perfect Registration
- Security Thread
- Invisible Feature

However, I don't think all of these features apply to plastic notes.

From Barangay Singapore: 

The Straits Times dated Sep 23, 2010: 2 nabbed for using counterfeit money By Lee Jia Xin

POLICE arrested on Wednesday two men who are believed to have printed and used counterfeit Singapore currency as payment to retail outlets and taxi-drivers in various parts of Singapore.
Both suspects, aged 31, may have been involved in a series of cases where counterfeit Singapore currency notes in $10 and $50 denominations had been used.
The Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) also recovered a colour printer cum copier, thought to have been used in the counterfeiting process.
The duo will be charged in Court on Friday for conspiracy to use genuine counterfeit currency.
If convicted, they can be jailed up to 20 years and fined.


  1. omg!!! thank god it's just $10 and not $50. Argh!!! what's happening to us? think it's time to use card to pay for all purchases~

  2. That is, if merchants/hawkers start accepting cards at their shops/stalls...

    However, that might lead to credit card fraud... People get smarter and smarter, so do crooks...