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Counterfeit 500-Peso Bills in Tijuana

A newly released, redesigned 500-peso bill has become one of the most successfully counterfeited bills in recent memory, despite its complex anti-counterfeiting features.

The phony bills began circulating throughout Tijuana in November. According to Marco Antonio Hermosillo, coordinator of the state government's investigating body (the Instituto de Investigación Juridíca y Seguridad Pública de Baja California), the fake money is of excellent quality in terms of artistry. (Notable is the fact that the bill features a portrait of Mexican muralist and painter Diego Rivera on one side; his wife, Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, on the other.)

Experts are impressed with the attention the counterfeiters have given to detail, the false bills’ sharpness of printed image, and the inclusion of a hologram and watermark. Certain reflective inks were also used to emulate the ones used in the real bill.

Hermosillo pointed out that the most frequently counterfeited notes are of the 200-, 100-, and 50-peso notes, while phony U.S. currency in Mexico is usually of the 20-, 50-, and 100-dollar denominations.

The counterfeiting of the 500-peso note (worth around 42 dollars) is a new and troubling trend, especially considering the quality of the recently discovered ones. Hermosillo says that people who wind up with the phony 500s should not try and exchange them for “real” money, as they could then be considered criminally liable and subject to imprisonment.

Image: Partial views of front and back of a 500-peso note

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A newly released, redesigned 500-peso bill has become one of the most successfully counterfeited bills in recent memory, despite its complex anti-counterfeiting features.

The phony bills began circulating throughout Tijuana in November. According to Marco Antonio Hermosillo, coordinator of the state government's investigating body (the Instituto de Investigación Juridíca y Seguridad Pública de Baja California), the fake money is of excellent quality in terms of artistry. (Notable is the fact that the bill features a portrait of Mexican muralist and painter Diego Rivera on one side; his wife, Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, on the other.)

Experts are impressed with the attention the counterfeiters have given to detail, the false bills’ sharpness of printed image, and the inclusion of a hologram and watermark. Certain reflective inks were also used to emulate the ones used in the real bill.

Hermosillo pointed out that the most frequently counterfeited notes are of the 200-, 100-, and 50-peso notes, while phony U.S. currency in Mexico is usually of the 20-, 50-, and 100-dollar denominations.

The counterfeiting of the 500-peso note (worth around 42 dollars) is a new and troubling trend, especially considering the quality of the recently discovered ones. Hermosillo says that people who wind up with the phony 500s should not try and exchange them for “real” money, as they could then be considered criminally liable and subject to imprisonment.

Image: Partial views of front and back of a 500-peso note

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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