Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What wasn't spent this last weekend.

Last week, while groggy with sleep, I received a bogus 50 RMB note from a taxi driver. I'm sticking with the sleepy excuse, but I doubt that I would have noticed it even if it had been in the middle of the afternoon instead of 05:50. We've heard that there are a lot of counterfeit bills floating around, and that most of them were 100's. Being that 100's are the largest note, and we only get them from the bank we were fairly confident that we wouldn't end up with one. Yes, we have head stories from others that fake bills have come out of ATMs, but we've never seen it.

But on my way home last week the taxi driver refused my 50 telling me it was fake. I looked at it and realized that it did seem a little off, but figured that I'd be able to spend it at a bar fairly easily over the weekend. No such luck - the few times I tried to spend it they returned with it asking for a good bill...

I guess if you're always on the watch for the fakes you notice them a lot quicker. Can you spot the fake from the real one?
These didn't scan in perfectly, the color is closer between the two bills then it looks. Visually they are pretty close together, there are some slight differences in Mao's look but the only way you can really tell is by feel, checking the thick section near his collar, or by holding the bill up and viewing the watermarks. Even those are copied, but apparently just not well enough...

2 comments:

WoAi said...

You can actually by a tiny UV lamp that can fit on your keyring to check for fakes, or just feel the collar which should have texture to it and not be smooth. In Shnghai we don't have this issue with taxi drivers because we can pay with the transport card which can also be used on buses and the subway. Failing that, I try to give exact change.

Mark said...

A UV lamp? Wow, that's almost crossing a line to paranoid. We can pay with our card too, and usually I try to give closer to exact change but I wasn't thinking and when I left that morning for my business trip I only had a nice stack of 100's with me.

Live and learn, at least it's not as bad a getting stuck with a fake 50 in Europe or the States....