Central businesses are warning members of the public to be careful of counterfeit $50 polymer notes which have been circulating in daily sales transactions over the past few weeks.
The head of the Chaguanas Chamber of Commerce is urging extra vigilance.
Some businesses owners only became aware whenever they attempted to make financial deposits at banks.
Speaking with the Guardian Media, the cashier of a pharmacy and supermarket in Carapichaima said she had to put up a sign in her establishment saying that they would no longer be accepting $50 polymer notes.
The latest incident where a counterfeit bills showed up was on Monday night when a customer attempted to purchase a case of water and medication.
“We told him it’s counterfeit and showed him that there was no brail present and no red markings to the front side right corner. We also showed him a very fine stitch, like a joining…so now he is aware,” the cashier said.
The customer told Guardian Media that earlier that day his wife paid for fuel at a station in Chaguanas where she was given a counterfeit $50 bill as change.
A Central Bank official said checks would have to be made to confirm whether or not reports of counterfeit $50 polymer notes were being made in recent times.
“We had an issue years ago, around 2016 and we did send out alerts but I cannot say for recent times.”
A police officer from the Chaguanas Police Station, however, said they had a few reports from business owners as well as from people who landed up with the counterfeit money.
The officer urged business owners and other victims to report every counterfeit issue as soon as it is realised.
Head of the Chaguanas Chamber of Commerce, Vishnu Charran said counterfeit notes can be any of T&T’s currencies and warned the business community to be more vigilant.
“Especially in these times where we are facing a depressed economy and here’s a lot of unemployment, unemployment rising. Businesses have to be careful about counterfeit money being in circulation.”
“Not only $50 notes but the $100s, $20s, $10s and so on. They have to be careful because definitely they are going to lose their money, so these businesses have to inform their cashiers that they need to check all their bills before they receive it from customers,” Charran added.
What to look out for the in the 2015 series of the $50 Polymer note:
1. Blind Emboss Feature – A small circle of raised dots, on the bottom right-hand corner of the front of the note. These dots allow the visually impaired to easily identify the note at all times.
2. Mask – The red banner across the tail of the Red-Capped Cardinal is an additional upgraded security feature.
3. Serial Numbers – The serial numbers are no longer ascending in size, but are now a uniform size. They are located on two places on the front of the note, vertically on the left-hand side and horizontally on the right-hand side, below the Spark orbital gold-coloured hibiscus.
4. Text Removal – The words “CELEBRATING FIFTY YEARS of the” have been removed from above the words “CENTRAL BANK OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO”. The text “1964-2014” has also been removed from under “CENTRAL BANK OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO”.
5. Tactile Bars – 6 tactile bars down the sides of the banknote to help the visually impaired to feel which denomination they are holding.
6. Series Date – 2015