A man identified as Samson Otuedon was recently caught in possession with over $400,000 of fake currency. It is stunning how these fraudsters make such currency that appears like a real one.
Since fraudsters cannot produce a real naira note, it becomes imperative to know the differences between a real naira note and a counterfeit one. These differences are not hidden; they are there only if you look well enough, even for an untrained eye. Below are ways by the summary through which you can spot the difference between real and fake notes…
1. Through Mercury Bulbs
In the real paper naira notes (₦100, ₦200, ₦500, ₦1000), they are some texts that are not visible to the Unclad eye; they are only visible through the rays from a mercury bulb. So, to verify the authenticity of a naira note, bring the said note in contact with rays from a mercury bulb. If it’s real, you’ll see a greenish-yellow glow of the note’s denomination across it. For example if it’s a ₦1000 note, you’ll see a glowing 1000 (in numbers) written across the note and smaller 1000 written on specific spots on it. The same goes for other paper denominations.
If the money is in a stack or bundle and you want to test for counterfeits, arrange the monies (it should be the same denomination all-through) properly (i.e. the front of each note in the bundle in contact with the back of the next note and top to top and bottom to bottom) and subject a side of it to rays from the mercury lamp, the greenish-yellow glow should be visible on the first and last note in the bundle if no counterfeit(s) is hiding in it.
2. Through Water Or Other Liquids
The colours used in printing counterfeits are soluble in water and some other liquids while that of real money is not. Wet the suspected money or a part of it with water or any other liquid and scrub the wet part with your thumb. Counterfeits will wash-off their colours as you do this but real will not.
3. Through The Ribbons
On every paper money on the naira is a thin silvery ribbon running from the top to the bottom of the note; it’s ropy on old notes. In real note, you can feel and even pull-out this ribbon on some old notes. However, in counterfeits, there’s something that looks like a ribbon but it’s not—just paint. Try scratching that ribbon, it come off like the silver panel on a recharge card.
4. Paper And Colour Quality
While counterfeits are made of ordinary papers, real money is made of a special kind of paper. Fealing the paper-quality of counterfeits, you’ll find out that it’s just like that of paper found on the street.
The colours of counterfeits also betrays it. The drawings on counterfeits are more blurry, blotchy and sometimes more darker than real paper money.