By JULIEN NEAVES Newsday
IF you are worried about receiving “funny money” this Carnival a representative from the British company that prints Trinidad and Tobago’s currency says that local counterfeiters are not very sophisticated and there are easy steps to spotting a fake bills. Regional manager for De La Rue, world’s largest integrated commercial banknote printer, Matt West shared these tips on Monday at the annual “Know Your Money” seminar hosted by the Central Bank in Port-of-Spain. Alister Noel, reported that instances of counterfeiting are “infrequent” and not a major concern for the bank.
He noted for the Carnival season there are more cash transactions and they have to maintain the integrity of the currency, hence the seminar. Smith said the infrequency of reported counterfeit bills showed that the security measures in the currency have been working well.
He pointed out the security features on the 2006 series of bills, the latest and most abundant. West said the “top tips” to spotting a counterfeit bill are: • compare the suspect with a genuine.
Counterfeit bills are usually hand cut with a guillotine and the size would differ from an authentic bill
• check for the watermark with the particular bird by holding up to the light
• look for the electrotype with the denomination • look for the silverish security thread
• check with a ultraviolet lamp (only certain areas will glow on authentic bills compared to counterfeits where the entire bill will glow) or with a magnifying glass to check for dots which would indicate a fraudulent bill West said one method used locally was “uprating” where a $10 bill, for example, would be changed to a $100 bill.
He noted that all bills have a distinguishing bird and distinct imagery, such as the scarlet ibis and an energy platform for the $1 bill, and this was another way to verify the currency.
De La Rue has been collaborating with this country since 1907, with both the Elections and Boundaries Commission and the Central Bank