Main image via AskLegal.MY
Imagine withdrawing money from an ATM only to find out that three of your RM50 notes are fake. This happened to a lady from Melaka a few months ago. Thankfully, she had enough information to make a police report and rectify this matter. Cases like this then make us wonder…
How Did the Fake Currency Ended Up In The ATM?
According to the Association of Banks in Malaysia, all banks have firm measures in place to detect fake banknotes, including scanning and validating the notes before being loaded into ATMs. However, human error can still happen during the loading process. Perhaps the staff were tired, perhaps they overlooked. Long story short, no safeguards are fool-proof.
Will You Be Charged By The Authorities For Having/Using Fake Money?
If you’re aware of it and still use the fake notes to shop at the night market because you just don’t bother or don’t have the time, then you might be in for a lot of trouble. Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) stated that using counterfeit money is unlawful under the Section 498c Penal Code (offence related to currency matters), and can bring a maximum imprisonment of 10 years.
In 2014, a hospital nurse was sentenced to eight years imprisonment for using 10 pieces of fake RM100 to buy an iPad. In 2017, a man was charged for using an RM100 fake note at a stall in Dungun despite knowing that it was counterfeit money. He was sentenced to eight-month imprisonment and a RM3,000 fine.
How To Spot Fake Money?
It’s said that a lot of counterfeit money has been circulating at night markets, especially in larger denominations such as RM50 and RM100. So, how do we differentiate between a genuine and fake note? We can start with this guideline from BNM called ‘Feel, Look, Tilt and Check’
Here’s an example of the RM50 note security features from BNM. For other banknotes i.e. RM5, RM10, RM20 and more, click here.
The security features are as below:
If you happen to receive a fake note without knowing, there’ll no reimbursement from BNM. However, if you got it from an ATM, make sure you have the receipt and lodge a police report—that could help you get replacements from the bank itself.
Remember, keeping and circulating fake notes is a criminal offence, so you don’t want to keep them around!
This article is brought to you by Loanstreet.
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