Thinking about a trip to Hong Kong?

Thinking about a trip to Hong Kong? Then you have to be wary of the counterfeit notes that might be currently circulating the economy.

Just recently, 2 Hong Kong banks found 5 counterfeit 1000-dollar notes (2003 edition) (SGD$164), triggering much alarm amongst the banks in Hong Kong. Banks immediately started to disallow the acceptance of the 1000-dollar notes. Some shops also followed suit and are not accepting the 1000-dollar bill.

The police urge the public not to attempt to re-use the counterfeit notes. If found guilty, there might be a maximum imprisonment of 14 years. Ever since the 5 counterfeit notes have been found, the police have stepped in to warn people of the notes that were printed in 2003. They also hope that citizens and tourists will help stop the inflow of these fake notes back into the circular flow of income in the economy.

The counterfeit notes are of the new variety – with its front and back surfaces being the Bank of China tower and the Hong Kong convention and exhibition centre respectively. This counterfeit of the new variety is happening for the first time.

Workers in banks are trained to tell apart fake from genuine notes. For this batch, the similarity between the two is up to 80%, which means that they are easily taken for one another. However, people can still distinguish the real from fake note with the details of the 5 items on the notes – patterns, watermark, fluorescent barcodes etc.

Most high value goods (such as seafood or expensive items) now use credit cards as a method of payment to minimise the risks involved. Some ATMs from banks such as the Bank of China, HSBC, Hang Seng, Standard Chartered and Citigroup have started to reject Bank of China 2003 edition 1000-dollar bank notes.