Public warned: ‘Swindlers, fake money on the loose’

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Public warned: ‘Swindlers, fake money on the loose’

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Swindlers started proliferating fake 1,000-peso bills again as the Christmas season already starts.

Some individuals have already reported being victimized by at least two fair-skinned men who appeared innocent.

The public has to know a fake bill since the police now apply the “last touch” principle where the last person using the fake bill in paying will be liable.

The police advised anybody getting hold of a fake bill to report immediately to authorities and refrain from passing it on to avoid liability.

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Banks and gasoline stations that had once been victimized in the past are also warned to take precautionary measures at this time of the year.

What had been circulated in the past incidents were mostly fake 500-peso bills.

This time, the recent incident reported involved fake 1,000-peso bills.

The public also has to note that there is no other way of detecting fake money but through money detector or familiarity of the characteristics of the authentic ones, according to the police.

The police also warned that unscrupulous individuals usually operate during election period and Christmas season. But there had been reports in the past that fake money proliferated even on ordinary days.

Past surveillance by the then Anti-Organized Crime Unit of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) first tracked down a suspected syndicate involved in selling fake money in Taguig.

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By the time the syndicate members were arrested one by one, the other members had already expanded operations to Visayas and Luzon.

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In the modus, the syndicate manufactures counterfeit bills and enterprising individuals who are willing to take the risk as middlemen.

The middlemen sells fake 500-peso bills and 1,000-peso bills at P150-P200 each bill.

The CIDG faces the challenge of tracking down the printing machine used and the hideout of the new syndicate.

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The CIDG believes the syndicate must have recycled their old materials as the BSP had recalled the old bank notes effective January 1 this year.

It might have taken the syndicate over a year to perfect the process of copying the new bank notes since the new bank notes had already been available in the past year.

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The public just have to be extra-careful this time since the syndicate had upgraded its printing machine, now using one that is capable of imprinting the security seal.

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