Receiving a counterfeit bill can happen anywhere, but tourists in other countries are particularly vulnerable to being scammed because they are less likely to be familiar with the bank notes. In most cases, the worst that can happen is that you are out the amount of the fake bill. However, passing counterfeit currency is illegal everywhere and in some countries it can land you in serious trouble if you get caught with it, even if you don’t know you have it. Here are our tips for minimizing the risk:
- Buy your currency from a reputable retailer, ideally before you go. You can receive fake bills from ATMs and foreign exchange bureaus abroad.
- It might seem obvious, but know what the local currency looks like. Do a quick internet search of the specific currency you will be using so you can familiarize yourself with ALL of the security features. While counterfeiters can try to replicate some of the security features, they will not want to try to reproduce all of them, as it is an expensive process.
- Pay attention to the money you are receiving in change back from a purchase or a cab ride and watch out for the fake bill swap, it’s a common occurrence.
- Don’t exchange money with random people off the street or through the black market. For one, it’s illegal, and two, it’s a perfect opportunity to get scammed.
Can’t make it down to a Calforex branch before your trip? Now you can order cash online.