How to Spot Fake Peso Bills On Your Own

Here's a guide from the Bangko Sentral.
IMAGE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas

Money switches hands a lot towards the end of the year with all the holiday shopping and gift-giving. This gives fraudsters a window to use counterfeit peso bills and if you're not careful, you could end up with fake money.

The new generation currency banknotes issued by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas come with additional security features to combat counterfeiters and fakes, and the regulator has come up with a guide to help you determine if your money is real or it's just colorful paper.

Here's how to check if your paper money is legit or not:


The following features are meant to help you feel the difference between a real banknote from a fake one.

  1. Security Paper: Money is printed on high-quality textile and feels different from usual paper.
  2. Embossed Print: Running your fingers across the bill should help you feel out certain embossed marks or bumps.
  3. Tactile Marks: These marks are in place to help visually-impaired individuals differentiate the denominations, but it can also help you determine if the bill is legitimate.


A thorough visual inspection of your cash can also help you figure out if it's fake.

  1. Watermark: The face of the bill should be present on the right side of the banknote as a faint shadow.
  2. Security Fiber: The paper used for printing money is blended with other fibers and textiles for a sturdier finish that is difficult to replicate. If you see tiny lines on your cash, those are security fibers.
  3. Asymmetric Serial Number: This random set of numbers is registered with the BSP and means the banknote you're holding is real and legitimate. Take note that the numbers ascend in size from left to right.
  4. See-through Mark: Hold your money against the light and a bit of it should pass through the bill.


Taking the bill in your hand and shifting from side to side will reveal extra features you won't find on fake bills. Once the light hits these features from different angles, you'll see a shift in color.

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  1. Security Thread: This series of dashes runs vertical across the bill and varies shades depending on the denomination's color
  2. Concealed Numerical Value: This number should match the bill's denomination
  3. Optically Variable Ink: This feature is present on the 500- and 1,000-peso bills
  4. Optically Variable Device Patch: This feature is present on the 1,000-peso bill only and can be spotted on the left portion of the bill. 
  5. Enhanced Value Panel: This feature is present on the 500- and 1,000-peso bills only. Both notes have the denomination printed in a thicker font on the upper left corner. 

This story originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by editors.


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