Fake rupee notes on the rise, in India and abroad
It is a battle bank tellers seem to be winning. They spotted 5.2 lakh fake notes in 2011-12 compared with 4.4 lakh notes in 2010-11. In percentage terms, data from RBI show, there was a 19.6 per cent rise in the number of counterfeit currency notes detected in 2011-12 over the previous year.
Not that the counterfeiters are discouraged. On an average, around 3.9 lakh fake currency notes were found every year between 2007-08 and 2011-12, according to an RBI research paper put out last week.
The more enterprising are palming off the fakes abroad. RBI data show that the value of fake rupee notes impounded in Switzerland’s banking system trebled in 2011 over the previous year.
In terms of the number of pieces of counterfeit currency impounded, the Indian rupee is not at the top, with more US dollar, euro and Swiss franc notes caught by bankers. But it was significantly higher than the number of British pound, renminbi, rouble and rand clones impounded. Until 2009, the number of fake Indian currency notes detected in Switzerland was minuscule compared to other currencies. But in 2010, there was a sharp rise in the number of rupee notes impounded at 212 and in 2011, a five-fold jump to 1,144.
Beware the Rs 100 notes
Also, contrary to the general practice of suspecting Rs 500 notes, you should be wary of Rs 100 notes, the data show. These account for 56 per cent of the counterfeit bank notes detected in India.
The Rs 500 denomination notes made up a third of counterfeits detected. Notes of Rs 1,000 denomination accounted for 5.2 per cent, but even fake notes of Rs 10, Rs 20 and Rs 50 denomination have been detected.