It is possible to tell if someone has given you counterfeit naira notes by looking at the physical characteristics of the bill, such as ink, colors, and text.

An estimated N100 million worth of counterfeit money is currently circulating in Nigeria . In this guide, we’ll help small business owners equip themselves with the knowledge necessary to detect these fake naira notes.

Counterfeit cash is much less of an issue for businesses that receive most of their revenue through credit card sales. However, if you business receive most of its revenue through physical cash here are 5 ways to know if a naira note is fake.

1. Use mercury bulbs

Some features of the naira notes cannot be seen with naked eyes.  These features are only in genuine naira notes and one cannot see them except with the help of mercury bulbs.

If a authentic N1000 note is placed under the rays from a mercury bulb, it’ll show a glowing 1,000 in numbers written across the note. But when you place the fake note everything about it will be upside down.

2. Make use of water or liquid

Make use of water or liquid like petrol Since a fake note is a decorated currency, when you immerse it in liquid and wash it gently against your palm, the colours and watermark will wash off. 

3. Through the ribbons

On every paper money on the Naira is a thin silvery ribbon running from the top to the bottom of the note; it’s trashy on old notes.

In real note, you can feel and even pull-out this ribbon on some old notes. However, in counterfeits, there’s something that looks like a ribbon but it’s not—just paint. Try scratching that ribbon, it come off like the silver panel on a recharge card.

4. Paper and colour quality

While counterfeits are made of ordinary papers, real money is made of a special kind of paper. Feeling the paper-quality of counterfeits, you’ll find out that it’s just like that of paper found on the streets. The colours of counterfeits also betray it. The drawings on counterfeits are more blurry, blotchy and sometimes darker than real paper money.

5. Check the gold foil

The N1000 note comes with a gold foil on the right side beside the CBN governor’s signature. You should have it in mind that if you peel the foil of a fake note it will fall off. If the foil fall off that means it is fake.

Of the five methods listed above, the first, second and third are more reliable.