Monday, April 26, 2010

Counterfeit R200 notes in South Africa

If you are in South Africa or you are planning to visit South Africa soon, I would like to warn you of a little counterfeit situation that came to play a few weeks ago.

There was an issue with the counterfeit R5 a few years ago, which wasn't as serious because they only presented issues at vending machines. Now we have counterfeit R200 notes. The guy who did it didn't even do a good job, but if you don't know what to look for you could be a victim. Lets be honest, we don't walk around with UV lights in our pockets. Apparently these notes came from within the bank...

There are many differences between the real R200 note and the counterfeit one, but you won't notice the difference if you are holding the counterfeit in isolation and you don't know what to check. I have attached a picture of the real R200 note and the counterfeit one, the top/first note on the picture is the real one. If you end up with one of these notes, here are a few differences to look out for:

* The counterfeit R200 notes are signed in orange and are written 'president governor' and the legitimate ones are signed in grey/black and written 'governor' at the bottom of the signature,

* The counterfeit note has a big R200 printed on the top right hand corner of the governor's signature whereas the real note has R200 printed on the top left and bottom right corners with smaller fonts,

* The counterfeit R200 note is about 3mm shorter than the real note,

* The silver strip that runs across the R200 note is thinner on the counterfeit note and thicker on the real note,

* The counterfeit notes are more orange in colour than the real notes.

Good luck. Hopefully your money won't get inspected at the bank like ours did last week.



  1. I swear the last time I saw R200s they looked more like the bottom one... I don't get R200s from my regular ATMs.

    They are of the high quality counterfeits of the 'older series' of R200 notes if I understood the SARB press release correctly. Not low quality counterfeits of the new series.

  2. I see, do post the link if you have it.

    Unfortunately Standard bank ATMs like giving you R200 and R100 notes. We got confronted at the bank last week due to the issue. Apparently the money came from the bank and now they are refusing to exchange it for "real" money.