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Counterfeit Chinese Money: Tips on How to Spot it!

Counterfeit Chinese Money: Tips on How to Spot it!


Counterfeit Chinese Money: Tips on How to Spot it!

No matter what part of the world you are in, you will find crooks of different kinds regardless of where you are.

When you are travelling to a different country, you will find yourself in a tough position because you are not as familiar with the currency of that country as the locals are; just as you are more familiar with your local dollar than most Chinese people are. It took me a while to spot counterfeit currency; you might have some difficulty too.

Chinese RMB

Chinese RMB

This is the reason why you need to learn how to sport counterfeit money while you are in China so that you can receive the right money and honest dealings.

Every currency has its own ways of vouching for its authenticity. In China, even some locals have trouble finding out which currency is real and which one is fake. As a foreigner you will have be a little more careful when it comes to things like this.

You have to keep your eyes open and be mindful of what the other person is giving to you. Here are a number of ways in which you can ensure that the other person is giving you the right currency note:

  • Counterfeit Chinese Money: The watermark

In any currency anywhere in the world, you will see a watermark when you put the currency note in range of light. There will be a watermark in the shape of a Chinese man on the left hand side of the note.

The Chinese man shown on the watermark is Chairman Mao. The watermark in fake currency will be very obscure whereas the one in real currency will be fairly visible and clear.

  • Chairman Mao’s Hair

On a real currency note the hair on the picture of Chairman Mao’s can be felt by your finger when you scratch it, but on a fake currency note you will never be able to feel Chairman Mao’s hair on the note.

100 yuan bill

100 yuan bill

  • Counterfeit Chinese Money: Chairman Mao

The picture of Chairman Mao should not be blurred in fact it should be very clear no matter how much the currency note has been used. If you receive a note in which Chairman Mao’s face is blue or obscured, refuse to accept it. Also, refuse to accept any currency notes that have anything written on the face of Chairman Mao.

  • Counterfeit Chinese Money: The Metal Strip

A small metal strip will be running in the note in a vertical line. You have to see if the strip is the average size and is not in the wrong place. It also has to be well embedded in the note. You have to take care of that. If the metal strip seems fake or out of place, refuse to accept the currency note.

Example of Metal Strip

Example of Metal Strip

  • Counterfeit Chinese Money: Weight and Size

Weigh the note to see if it weighs right or not. If it seems heavier or lighter than a regular currency note then do not accept it!

In addition, most fake currencies are a little smaller than real currency notes. Try to compare it with the others to make sure it is the right size. This is one of the basic things that are usually overlooked by people because they are not familiar with the size of the original note.

Once you observe the real currency note carefully, you will figure out how easy it is to differentiate between an original currency and between counterfeit money.

Counterfeit Chinese money are some of the most counterfeited bills in the world.

It is fairly easy (compared to US dollars) and many people are less aware of what a real bill feels like. It is very common in China for locals to refuse any bill with a written mark on it or a tear. Be sure to follow this example.

Also, from my own experience, the quickly way to know if a bill is fake or not is the feel. Most of the time, a fake bill will feel very smooth, like it has a lamination on it. A normal bill tends to be rougher in feeling. If a merchant refuses to give you another bill if you feel you’ve received a fake, simply move on, most likely you can find the same item to buy elsewhere and for less.

Also, be sure to check out my post on scams in China.

Always be safe and enjoy!


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