Mexico’s central bank has warned consumers that fake currency is in circulation.
As of the beginning of the third trimester of 2021, the number of fake bills detected had already surpassed the number reported in 2020.
Though the official number of confiscated fakes so far this year is only 1,069 nationwide, authorities warn the actual number of counterfeits in circulation is likely much higher and is estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands.
So far this year, authorities in Yucatán have reported and confiscated only 608 fake paper bills.
Over the past several years, Mexico’s central bank has revamped the design of the country’s currency in an effort to make fakes easier to detect.
The most recent generation of Mexico’s paper currency, in all of its denominations, is printed on a new type of material that authorities say is harder to fake.
The new bills also possess several security features such as holograms, transparent watermarks, and scannable, yet invisible markers.
But the majority of the fake bills detected nationwide are reported to be copies of older-style 500- and 200-peso bills, which are still legal tender.
As has been the case in several countries, the counterfeit of paper money dramatically increased in Mexico in the 1990s. This was due to the arrival on the market of high-quality ink and laserjet printers.
According to Mexico’s federal penal code, the falsification of Mexican currency is punishable by up to 12 years in prison.