Saturday, August 30, 2014   




HSBC notes latest to fall prey

Hilary Wong

Friday, December 27, 2013


Banks are bracing for a flood of worried customers wanting to exchange banknotes today, as HSBC became the second bank to be hit by counterfeiters.

Fake HK$1,000 HSBC banknotes were discovered in Macau yesterday - days after false Bank of China notes of the same denomination were found.

Shops have been rejecting Bank of China 2003 HK$1,000 notes since the news broke on Monday.

Police in Macau seized 13 HSBC 2003-series banknotes as well as 15 Bank of China notes. All were dated January 1, 2008.

It is the first time counterfeit HSBC notes have surfaced since the alert began in Hong Kong over the BOC fakes.

The latest seizures came after Macau police took away 63 bogus BOC notes from a casino on Tuesday.

The BOC notes first surfaced in Hong Kong, with the Commercial Crime Bureau saying that five of a new variation of the 2003 series were discovered at two local banks.

The notes feature the Bank of China Tower and the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on the front and back.

HSBC, Hang Seng Bank, Bank of China, Standard Chartered and Bank of East Asia said their ATMs would not accept the 2003-issue HK$1,000 banknotes from BOC.

But the notes can be accepted at bank counters. BOC reminded its customers to beware of fake notes as they will not be accepted. It has made arrangements for a sudden rush of people cashing in notes today.

Hong Kong Monetary Authority says the counterfeit banknotes bear an 80 percent resemblance to the genuine ones. It ha
s asked banks to speed up their withdrawal of the 2003 series of HK$1,000 notes from circulation.

Some banks will deploy more manpower to deal with the first work day after Christmas today. Shops are concerned about the fakes. A jewelry shop owner said it got the news from bank staffers, while many large chains in the sector expressed discontent at the late notice from the Monetary Authority.

A forex shop owner reminded people that before exchanging the banknotes they should check whether they have value for collectors.

Some HK$1,000 notes with an initial "Z" are worth HK$3,000 to HK$4,000 each, he said.

Police are urging people with suspect notes to hand them over to the police or banks immediately. They should not attempt to reuse them.

Police have set up a hotline 2860-5012 for inquiries.


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