Paper Money

Record numbers of fake 500-peso notes detected in Mexico

The “Mexico Daily News,” in a story published Sept. 9, revealed that a record number of counterfeit 500-peso bank notes was detected in the first half of 2019, including the fakes shown here.

Image courtesy of Mexico Daily News.

Mexico introduced a new 500-peso note in August 2018, and the country’s central bank touted its many enhanced security features, such as fluorescent ink, a dynamic thread, intaglio printing, and a watermark.

The Mexico Daily News, in a story published Sept. 9, revealed that despite the new security, a record number of counterfeit 500-peso bank notes was detected in the first half of 2019, when the Banco de Mexico said that 80,891 counterfeit 500-peso notes were taken out of circulation from January to June. That is the largest amount of any denomination found in any six-month period since 2015, and is greater than all the bogus 500-peso notes taken out of circulation in each of the last four years.

The total for the 500-peso notes included all three types still in circulation: The oldest, with Gen. Ignacio Zaragoza; the 2010 issue with Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera; and the recent blue one with former president Benito Juárez on one side. 

A total of 156,278 fake bank notes with a total value of 54 million pesos (U.S. $2.8 million) were seized in the first half of 2019. Of that, the 500-peso denomination comprised 52 percent of all notes withdrawn, with 35 percent of the total being found in Mexico City. The bank says that most were made with inkjet or laser printers.

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