The Central bank of Barbados on Thursday warned retailers and the public to be on the lookout for people who are trying to pass off fake banknotes as real money.
In a statement, the bank said that with the Crop Over festival moving into high gear, there tends to be an increase in counterfeiting “when spending rises and there is a lot of money in circulation.”
“During Crop Over in particular, when a lot of activities take place at night and when many of the persons collecting money at fêtes and working in stalls are not used to handling large amounts of cash, counterfeiters try to take advantage,” said Deputy Director of Currency at the Central Bank Octavia Gibson.
She added that people can protect themselves from counterfeiters by becoming familiar with, and using, the security features on Barbadian banknotes.
“For businesses that have UV lights, we encourage you to use them. But even if you don’t, there are many, many features on our money that you can check with just your eyes and your hands, and we have many resources to help you learn how. I encourage Barbadians to visit the Central Bank’s website or our social media pages. You can also download our free banknote app from Google Play and the Apple app store, which will show you the security features and how to use them. And we conduct free training sessions for businesses on request. The information is readily available, and we urge everyone to use it.”
Gibson warned that if fake notes are received, they should be taken to a bank , police station, or the Central Bank.
“But do not try to spend it, because passing a counterfeit is a criminal offence that carries a prison sentence.”
“We understand that no one wants to get stuck with a counterfeit note, so do everything you can to avoid getting one in the first place. The best way to do that is to learn the security features of Barbadian banknotes and always check your money,” Gibson said.