What to you do when you suspect of the authenticity of a banknote or coin

If you have a banknote/coin which you believe is not authentic (presumably counterfeit/forged), do not continue using it. Paying with a counterfeit banknote/coin is a federal crime punishable by up to 12 years in prison. You must turn it in to any bank so that they can send it to Banco de México to be analyzed. Banco de México is the only institution in Mexico that can determine whether a banknote/coin is authentic or counterfeit. This service is free of charge.

If at the moment of paying you are told that your banknote/coin seems counterfeit/forged, ask them to return it to you so that you can take it to a bank. Only banks can retain presumably counterfeit banknotes/coins and, in exchange, they must give you a receipt (as explained below). The bank must then send the presumably counterfeit banknote/coin to Banco de México to be analyzed.

Only banks can retain presumably counterfeit banknotes/coins. In exchange, they must give you a format known as “Receipt of presumably counterfeit/altered metal coins and/or banknotes” ("Recibo de Retención de Monedas Metálicas y/o Billetes Presuntamente Falsos o Alterados"), also known as Annex 6A. It is very important that the receipt has a number of the Authentication System of Currency (Receipt Number SAM) that provides Banco de México or the number generated by the bank, in the event of a contingency, which will help you to track your piece. It is also important that the cashier that makes the retention, and you, write their names and sign the Annex 6A.

The bank has 20 banking days to deliver the presumably counterfeit banknotes/coins to Banco de México, and in turn, this Central Bank will make the analysis and publish the result within 10 banking days in case it is national currency, or 20 banking days if its foreign currency.

If the piece is authentic then its corresponding value will be reimbursed through the bank that held it. If the piece turns out to be counterfeit or altered, it will remain in the custody of Banco de México, and you will not recover its value.

What to you do when you receive a presumably counterfeit piece (PCP) from ATM or banking window

In accordance with article 48 Bis 1 of the Credit Institutions Law, you has the right to claim the amount of the piece to the credit institution to which the ATM or banking window belongs. It is an obligation of the credit institution attending this type of event; however, to claim you only have up to 5 banking days from the date of receipt of the piece.

To claim, the person who received the PCP must go to the bank to which it belongs the ATM or banking window, and:

  • Deliver the piece. If you no longer have it because another bank retained it, then you must deliver the "Receipt of presumably counterfeit/altered metal coins and/or banknotes" (Recibo de Retención de Monedas Metálicas y/o Billetes Presuntamente Falsos o Alterados", also known as Annex 6A), that the other bank had to give you in exchange for the PCP.
  • Deliver copy of an official identification.
  • Explanation written by hand where you specify in detail how the PCP was obtained, including the branch, date, time, among other data.
  • Proof of the transaction; for example, receipt of the ATM (only in case of having it, it is not compulsory).

In exchange, you will receive an Annex 6A, which must have a number of the Authentication System of Currency (Receipt Number SAM) to follow-up the proceedings, as well as the legend "Claim".

The bank will verify, within a period of 5 banking days counted from the date of the claim, that the operation had been carried out as stated in the explanation of the person who made the claim. If the result of the complaint is in favor of the latter, the bank must pay the amount of the piece claimed. Otherwise, the bank shall inform, in writing, of the reasons for its refusal. In this course, you can expect the result of the analysis from Banco de México, since if it is authentic, its corresponding value will be reimbursed.

Remember that you lose your money from the time you get a counterfeit banknote or coin, not when Banco de México indicates that are not authentic. To avoid becoming a victim of counterfeiters and affect your economy, it is best to learn to identify the genuine banknotes through their security features.

For more information dial 800-BANXICO (800 226 9426) or send an e-mail to dinero@banxico.org.mx

* Available only in Spanish.

Background information