- All ATMs fitted with cameras; holder advised to immediately report suspected fake notes to the bank that owns the machine.
- Banks ordered to check whether the banknote was indeed dispensed by the bank’s ATM; if confirmed fake, bank must replace banknote in question, according to central bank guidelines.
- Senator says it's the banks' job to ensure state-of-the-art defenses against security breaches.
- 12 years in jail for currency counterfeiters.
Manila: The country’s central bank has urged bank customers to carefully inspect money dispensed by automated teller machines (ATMs) as reports of counterfeit Philippine peso notes from the cash machines emerged.
As a precautionary measure against counterfeiting, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) recently urged the public to regularly inspect bank notes for authenticity through the “feel-look-tilt" approach.
The central monetary authority has issued guidelines for people if they suspect getting fake notes from the cash machines:
- “Should a banknote dispensed by an ATM be suspected as a counterfeit, the holder is advised to immediately report it to the bank that owns the machine,” the BSP said.
- The bank that owns the ATM would conduct a thorough investigation to verify whether the banknote was indeed dispensed by the bank’s ATM.
- If the holder’s claim is verified, the BSP said the bank should replace the banknote in question.
It’s not immediately clear how the fake currency ended up in ATM machines.
Recent enforcement operations resulted in the arrest of 16 people, 14 of whom were suspected to be members of counterfeiting crime syndicate.
The central bank said cash handlers and service providers refilling ATMs are also trained to detect counterfeit banknotes or verify their authenticity before loading them up in ATMs.
All ATMs in the country are also mandated to have front-facing as well as perimeter cameras. The BSP stated it's part of risk management measures Philippine banks are mandated to use to prevent such incidents.
“Aside from the installation of cameras at ATM areas, cash handlers and service providers tasked to refill ATMs are trained to detect counterfeit banknotes or verify their genuineness before placing them in ATMs,” it added.
500 fake bank notes seized
From January to September 2021, the BSP said it seized more than 500 fake banknotes with a notional value of P480,000.
Enforcement operations also resulted in the arrest of 16 suspects, 14 of whom were members of crime syndicates, the regulator told local media.
On Thursday, Senator Grace Poe said Poe fake bills have no place in the banking system, and depositors should not shoulder the responsibility of recognising fake banknotes from automated teller machines (ATM).
"Reminders by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to be alert of fake bills from ATMs are disquieting and raise the question on how the bogus money can find its way into the banks' machines," Poe said in a statement.
"The burden of distinguishing counterfeit bills emanating from banks from genuine ones should not be placed on depositors... As keepers of the people's money, banks must ensure state-of-the-art defenses against security breaches," she added.
The BSP also urged depositors to check bank notes to avoid getting fake bills using the "feel, look and tilt method".