Large-scale transactions must be handled through banks, SKB-Bank says

Sverdlovsk Region’s coinage offense–fighting authorities report 921 counterfeiting attempts were registered in the region in January-June 2008 (compared with 984 attempts a year earlier). 889 cases involved the Bank of Russia’s banknotes, 32 cases involved U.S. dollars, and one case had to do with counterfeited euro bills.

The authorities say the counterfeited bills are imported to Sverdlovsk Region by so-called ‘circuiteers’ or organized groups (sometimes ethnically homogeneous ones). Batches worth between 100,000 RUR and 500,000 RUR get transported from Chechnya, Dagestan, Stavropol Territory, Moscow, and other places. Once the money is inside the region, the bills are dispersed by grassroots group members through purchasing transactions, normally involving low-cost products. At the same time, counterfeited banknotes are also made in Sverdlovsk Region itself; sometimes the banknotes are distributed by school-age children and students who don’t even realize all the consequences of their actions.

‘Most of the time, you can easily tell a counterfeited bill from a real one if you look at it closely. Besides, there are many books and other resources that describe the authenticity characteristics. One only needs to get acquainted even with the most basic ones in order to greatly reduce the chances of being fooled by some swindlers. What is more, you can always handle all the large-scale transactions through banks, all of which are equipped with special machines that can check the banknotes’ authenticity,’ says SKB-Bank’s Operating Department Director Larisa Larionova.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs reports most fake bills can be found in the cities where most regional cash is circulated, like Yekaterinburg, Nizhniy Tagil, Pervouralsk, Kamensk-Uralskiy, and district centers.

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