MANILA, Philippines – This time of the year is commonly associated with gift-giving, shopping, and merry-making.
While the public is busy with various festivities, lawless elements are cunningly taking advantage of the holiday rush to execute their crimes.
‘Alan’, a trader of used goods, shared his experience after a couple successfully deceived him of their crafty plan.
The suspects offered to buy his printer but they asked for a meetup in an awkward time in the evening.
“Kasi gabi na iyon. Madilim. Pagod na rin so kwento-kwentuhan. Noong nagbabayad na sila sa akin, habang binibilang ko ang pera, ang style nila, kwento kwentuhan ako, tatanungin ako ng iba ibang bagay. Habang nagbibilang ako, na-distract ako. Noong nakita kong tama iyong P5,000 ibinulsa ko na,” (It was evening and it was dark. I was tired. They kept on talking things. When they handed me the money… their style was they would keep taking to you. They would ask you a number of things while you count. I was distracted. When I saw five the complete P5,000, I put the money inside my pocket,”) he recalled.
“Pero noong una nagtataka ako parang may mali doon sa pera. Ang ganda noong pera. Hindi mo mapapansin na may mali. Hindi mo mapapansin na peke kasi ang ganda ng pagkakaprint. Puro P1,000 na lima. Iyong itsura niya parang kumikinang iyong selyo. Ang ganda ng pagkakagawa hindi mo mapapansin sa umpisa.(“At first, I sensed something wrong with the money. They look so nice. You would never notice that it was fake because they were nicely printed, five P1,000 bill. The seal was bright and shining, you would not suspect that it was fake,”) he said.
But immediately after the transaction, the suspects rushed to the car and speeded fast without even slowing down at the road humps.
“Tiningnan ko sa ilaw ng motor ko. Tinitignan kong mabuti, paulit ulit binabaligtad ko. Tapos napansin ko, pareha parehas ang serial number ng pera. Tapos noong tinalikod ko ang ibang numero ng pera putol,” (“I checked the bills with my motorbikes’ headlight. Very carefully I checked, I flipped the bill front and back. I noticed that the serial numbers on all the bills were the same. When I checked the back side, I noticed some of the numbers were cut,”) he shared in disappointment.
That’s when Alan realized that he was swindled.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas advises the public to be vigilant in accepting banknotes this holiday season.
The agency said, look for features that will determine genuine banknotes from the fake ones.
These security features include embossed prints, watermark, security fiber, asymmetric serial number, and see-through mark which can be verified through the ‘feel-look-and-tilt’ method.
First, feel if the paper bill is rough to the touch.
Next, look at the banknote very closely and make sure that every detail is clear especially the watermark, security fiber and the asymmetric serial numbers.
Then, tilt the paper bill at about 45 degrees to see the security thread. Check for the concealed value and the optically variable ink and variable patch.
For inquiries and verification, the public may coordinate with the BSP through 988 48 22 or send an e-mail to email@example.com.- Marje Pelayo (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)