The New Kenyan Currency – How To Tell The Fake Notes From The Legitimate Ones


Scammers are now exploiting a loophole in the new generation Kenyan currency to circulate counterfeit notes. The rolling out of the new banknotes by the Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge has seen a tremendous rise in the number of scam cases. Rogue businessmen and individuals countrywide are exploiting loopholes in people’s knowledge of the new notes to supply fake ones.

The old Ksh. 1000 notes will be rendered irrelevant in October. Those having them are advised to return them to banks and exchange them for new notes.

Here are the guidelines to ascertain the legitimacy of the new Kenyan currency notes as stipulated by the Central Bank of Kenya.

1. The Feel

The notes have basically the same feel as they are made from special paper. The new Ksh. 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1000 notes are to replace the old notes by October.

All the new notes can be identified by running your finger above the part of the note written Kenya. The name starts from the centre of the note and runs towards the left. For the legitimate new notes, the feel as you rub your fingers over the top of the word is that you can hardly feel the lettering of the word. For fake notes though, you can feel the letters and in some, the name Kenya is directly at the centre with the letter being at the line of symmetry when you fold the note along the line of symmetry. This also the same when you rub your finger[s] around the value in all the notes. For the 1000 notes, rubbing your finger[s] around the number 1 and the three zeros should not bring about any sensation on the tip of your fingers. The difference with most fake notes, in this case, is that you will always feel some sensation from one digit to the next as the digits are sometimes pressed onto the notes with effect given the difficulty in coming up with the exact look.

Another standout difference is at the edges of the note. Some bars stand out in the new notes. The bars should only be on one side of the note. The Ksh. 50 note has one bar, the 100 note has two, the 200 note has three, the 500 note has 4 while the 1000 note has 5 bars. If you have interacted with fake notes, you will find that these bars are either missing or randomly placed and in continuous ink. Some fake notes have excess bars while some do not have any. Look out!

2. The look

In this sense, you will need to hold the note up to a concentrated source of light. For legitimate notes, there is a watermark of a perfect Lion’s head, the text CBK and the value of the note. This should be visible from either side. For fake notes, the Lion watermark may be poorly inscribed or a head of some other animal. The text, the watermark and the value of the note may be missing. In some cases even two or all.

The security thread is perhaps the hardest thing to forge. The thread runs across the note in a vertical fashion. it is a continuous line and is well fastened onto the note. In fake notes, it is either very loose and does not look like the normal security thread or is just missing. You need to look out for that.

On tilting the note, the security thread should change colour from red to green on all banknotes. The 1000, 500 and 200 notes have additional rainbow colours. Fake notes will not display this feature and the security thread is a continuous band with a single colour.

You have to note that counterfeit notes may have all these features but lack in only one of them. When establishing legitimacy of the new notes, all you have to check the features mentioned above.

Speaking of money, here are 8 Ways To Fix Your Finances To Avoid Being Broke

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