Sunday, April 17, 2005

Forgery in Argentina

Well it has happened to me! Some how, somewhere I
managed to acquire a forged bank note. The note in question is in the
alleged amount of 10 Argentine pesos or about $2.90 by current exchange
rates. I was warned about this and even instructed by a merchant early
in our trip about which security markings to look for.

How often do you actually inspect the change you receive from a vendor?
I can not think of a single time in my life that I have ever inspected a
five, ten, twenty, fifty or even one-hundred dollar bill for
authenticity at the time of receipt. Yes I have taken currency and
marveled at the security features days, weeks or even months after I
received it, just to see how interesting those security features are.

The merchant I was attempting to buy trinkets from immediately
identified the forgery from a stack of notes I gave to her and returned
it to me. In her eyes I could imagine her thinking "what a shame, you
stupid American, duped into accepting a forged note without even

I must say that it is indeed a very good forgery, clearly a high quality
scan and very good inkjet printer with water-proof ink was used to
create this forgery. Even a simulated watermark help the elusion.

One critical missing element gave the note away instantly to a trained
eye. Argentine pesos have the denomination printed in one corner with a
iridescent raised ink that is hard to duplicate and instantly

The imbedded metallic strip, another missing feature in my forgery is a
common security measure included in most currency today.

Oh well, now what do I do with it? Is there a secret service here in
Argentina that wants to inspect this note and trace the forger? Should I
burn it? Suggestions please!