Counterfeit Money Best Practice

The fake money is not rare in China even though making it is a felony, Actually you got chance to receive one in Beijing in some circumstance, here is some tips for you to stay away from it.

As the largest denomination of currency in china is no more than 100RMB, not like 1000HK$ in Hong kong, what you need to do is to pay more attention on the 100,50 and 20 banknote.

I think most of 100 banknote in your pocket is coming from local bank/ATM or currency exchange station in airport, so it is probably not possible you got a fake one out there. but if you got the money from another person , such as cash payroll, you should check it in some way, at least this person should have your trust, or to say try to step away from this kind of situation in advance is better, wechat and alipay transfer, even paypal is convenient for both of you, or deposit transfer from bank.

There is kind of scam to exchange you real 100 banknote to a fake one, in some suburb small store, when you are go shopping, after you pay 100RMB by cash to the staff, they will return to you for some reason or excuse, just keep an eye on the money, make sure this is the one you gave, you got chance to receive a fake one. it is hard to find evidence for you to claim the scam.

Few taxi driver would go the same way to exchange your money, but some of them may probably cheat you by giving a fake change to you, most likely a 50RMB banknote. it did happened to me twice when I take taxi in the evening, and having a rush to get off the car make me not aware of this. so be careful especially in the evening, at least you should ask for the receipt for your trip, through which you may file a complain to the car company, the extra benefit to ask for a receipt is in case you left something behind, you can trace the car by the information on that receipt.

Small change like 10RMB is rare to see a fake one, maybe it is not worth doing this, but in some grocery store or parking spot you could find some fake 20 change. It’s not a big deal, you can easily spend it without problem in this kind of place especially for the parking fee. people just keep more eyes on the 100 and 50 banknotes, I know this is not all right, but it is the way it works.

If you unfortunately have a fake 100/50 banknotes, just keep it for souvenir, i am not kidding, basically you can not spend it, most people will recognize it easily, and if you try to deposit in a bank, the staff will confiscate it and return you a official notes paper instead.

So, if you need some small change for grocery store or parking or somewhere else, what are you gonna do? it’s easy, go to the MacDonald , KFC, 7-11 store, other any of food or beverage, such as coffee(approximately 1.5$), pay by 100 cash, and they will return to you all the small change which is basically OK without keeping an eye on it.

The best way to step away from all of this is open an account in a China bank, usually what you need to do is taking your passport and going to a bank, ask the reception for detail. I personally recommend the CMB China www.cmbchina.com, not much people around there everyday and you got a good e-bank system, so you don’t have to go there for transfer or other operation next time. After you got the bank account, your alipay weichat pay or samsung/apple pay is almost done, just finish it on your phone. then you are free to use e-pay anywhere around Beijing.

For a native resident, the only way I still count on cash is the parking fee in daily life.

Some key point to recognize a fake 100 banknotes if you have to do so in some cases


Just pay attention to the No.2, the color of the 100 will be changed to green when you have the banknotes leaned way back and forward, this is the quickest and easiest way to check it out.

Update: 2017.12.26

I heard some news that some of the counterfeit banknote in China is coming from North Korea when doing trade, while I have nothing to talk about it.

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