Saturday, January 8, 2011

Money, it's a gas....

You might think this is a 20 JD note .... but it's not.
The larger grocery stores and some other businesses in Amman have a black light at the checkout. When you give them a bill of 20 JD or larger, they scan it under the black light. It's the equivalent of those brown pens they use sometimes at stores in the U.S., but perhaps more prevalent. I had noticed this before but didn't think much of it until New Year's Eve. I went to the store to purchase some beverages for the evening and my 20 JD note was REJECTED. Further observation showed it to be COUNTERFEIT. It is slightly smaller than the real note, but you can only tell if you hold it up to a real one. Also the color was off, but only so much that it looked like a worn bill, not a fake one. When you put the bill under the black light, a silver security strip glows in the middle of the bill. Mine was revealed to lack the silver strip - it was painted on! When examined, it looked like shiny silver nail polish - totally fake. I can't be sure, but I'm almost positive I got the bad bill when I used a 50 JD note to pay for gasoline earlier in the day. Twenty JD is about 28 USD so this is no small loss --- an interesting but expensive novelty at the New Year's Party I attended later! You can be sure that I will check my change better in the future.

UPDATE: Turns out apparently I can take the counterfeit bill to the Central Bank and they will give me a new one. I have to report where I got the counterfeit bill and then they will send an auditor to check it out. 

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