How to spot fake Indian currency notes

On October 2, we observe Gandhi Jayanti, the birth anniversary of our exceptional leader, Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhiji is known in India and worldwide for his ideology and contribution to the nation’s freedom struggle. On a day-to-day basis, most of us see the great leader’s image on all of our currency notes in India. Did you know that Gandhji can actually help you spot fake currency notes? How? Read the points listed to know more.

How to check for counterfeit money

If you are ever unsure about the authenticity of a note or want to be cautious every time you use cash, here are some tips to check for fake money:

  • Gandhiji's image:

    In the context of Indian currency, the watermark refers to the outline of Gandhiji’s image. This watermark can help you differentiate a fake note from a real one. Perpetrators who create counterfeit currency use heavy oil or grease to make the watermark. Due to this, the watermark ends up looking thicker than usual. Thus, take the time to pay attention to the watermark. You can even hold up the note to a light source to make sure it looks authentic or not.

  • Formatting:

    If you have looked at an Indian note, you will have noticed a log of numerical figures. While they might not mean much to us, they can help identify fake currency. If you look closely at these figures and notice poor alignment, chances are that the note is fake. For instance, keep an eye out for discrepancies regarding the size of the figures or the gaps between them. These clues will point you in the right direction.

  • Ink:

    Another thing to look out for is the ink on a currency note. Actual notes usually have immaculate printing. If you have a fake note, you might be able to spot it by noticing smudged ink or broken lines. Thus, look closely at the printed material on a note to verify its authenticity.

  • Security thread:

    If you look at a currency note, you will see a line of squares running across the middle. This line is known as a security thread. On a real note, the security thread is incorporated through the currency. Thus, to check for a fake note, you can look at this feature. In a fake note, the security thread will look like it has been drawn or printed on the currency.

  • Typography and micro-lettering:

    To spot a fake note, you can check the typography of the words 'Reserve Bank of India’. These words will appear thicker on a fake note, whereas they seem far smoother on a real note. Similarly, you can check out the micro-lettering between Gandhiji’s image and ‘Reserve Bank of India’. The lettering is relatively small and appears on a band. You will need a magnifying glass to check this print for consistency.

Now that you know how to spot counterfeit money, make sure you stay alert. While using cash, take a couple of minutes to ensure you use authentic currency. Use this Gandhi Jayanti as the opportunity to inculcate this practice and uphold his values of honesty and truth.

​​​​​​​*Terms and conditions apply. The information provided in this article is generic in nature and for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for specific advice in your own circumstances.