Counterfeit Currency – Mind Your Colombian Pesos

in Gambling/Safety/Shopping

Fake bills are everywhere in Colombia and nearly everyone (both Colombians and expats) has been tricked at least once.  So, it’s important to remember to check each note you receive to make sure it’s legit. I learned my lesson the hard way a couple weeks ago when I was given change at a restaurant in Cali. The counterfeit bill I received was only COP10,000 (~$4), not the biggest loss on my end but I thought I would write a quick article to show you what to look out for.

CAN YOU GUESS WHICH ONE?
CAN YOU GUESS WHICH ONE?

The most common Colombian Peso bills which are forged are the 10,000; 20,000; and 50,000 denominations. Take time to study a few real notes and notice the detail in the intricate printing, watermarks, security strips and colors. Also, learn the feel of the currency and the texture which becomes apparent when you fold a bill and rub the halves against each other. Check out the photos below to see the fake bill I received compared to legitimate currency.
At the end of the article I’ll be linking to the photos in high-resolution, where it will be easier to spot the differences.

CHECK OUT THE DETAILS IN THE BOX NEXT TO THE PORTRAIT.
CHECK OUT THE DETAILS IN THE BOX NEXT TO THE PORTRAIT.

Here’s a few more examples.

THE COLORING OF THE MOUNTAINS IN THE BACKGROUND LOOK WASHED OUT AND SLOPPY ON THE FAKE.
THE COLORING OF THE MOUNTAINS IN THE BACKGROUND LOOK WASHED OUT AND SLOPPY ON THE FAKE.

Look out for the silver lining that runs through the bill.

NOTICE THE LACK OF DETAIL CUT INTO THE SECURITY STRIP OF THE FAKE NOTE.
NOTICE THE LACK OF DETAIL CUT INTO THE SECURITY STRIP OF THE FAKE NOTE.

Hope this helps you avoid getting ripped off!  Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions for other readers in the ‘Comments’ section.  ***The answer to the first photo question: the bottom bill is the fake.***

Click here, here, here and here to access the photos in high-resolution – you are welcome to download them. You’ll be able to magnify the bills and the differences will become even more obvious.

Thanks for reading and please share!

A native of Minnesota and resident of San Francisco, California, this curious bloke ended up in Colombia for the investment opportunities and guaranteed adventure. Ryan previously worked at a Fortune 500 firm as a Financial Analyst but quickly realized that the 11 days of vacation he was given would never satisfy his need to explore the world.

Ryan prefers to stay off the tourist track and find authentic experiences wherever he goes. He enjoys running, finding deals and spending time away from his computer and phone.

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