What To Do When You Get Fake Notes From An ATM

By | December 9, 2015

Got Fake Notes From An ATM? Don't Panic.

On a leisurely Sunday, Suniti planned to watch a movie with her gang of girls and then hop in to her favourite restaurant to enjoy a scrumptious meal.  On the way to the nearest movie theatre, Suniti used her ATM card to withdraw cash for the evening.

As she was the first one to reach the theatre, Suniti thought it would be a good idea to buy the movie tickets. However, she was in for a shock when the ticket window cashier told her that one of the Rs. 500 notes she gave was fake. Suniti complained that she’d just withdrawn money from the ATM, but to no avail!

A dejected Suniti paid up with another note and began checking the fake note that was disbursed by the bank ATM. Suniti asked her friends what options she had now that the note had been rejected, but unfortunately no one had a clue.

If you are ever caught in a situation like Suniti’s where you get fake currency notes from the ATM machine, here’s everything you should know!

Is the note REALLY fake?

First and foremost, check if the note is really a fake one or not. Sometimes, vendors do not accept genuine currency notes fearing them to be fake.

A genuine currency note can be checked using the RBI-approved yardsticks including identification by seeing, touching and tilting the currency note.  Do not take the word of a vendor who refuses to accept the note and check the note on all possible parameters.  

There’s a difference between a fake note and a mutilated one

Sometimes, the note is just soiled or too old and not fake as claimed by the vendors. If you find a note which is torn or has some issues with its printing, you can exchange it at your bank. The bank will give you adequate compensation depending on the condition of the note.

What to do if you receive fake notes from your bank ATM:

  • Identify the fake note right away: Make it a point to check all currency notes at the time of cash withdrawal from the ATM machine. Once you walk out of the ATM outlet, it is virtually impossible to tell how the fake note made it to your pocket. 
  • Show the fake note to the ATM CCTV for the record: Check all the currency notes and if you find a fake note from the cash disbursed by the ATM, show it to the CCTV camera for identification. Also, note down the number of the note for further follow up.
  • Lodge a grievance report: Lodge a grievance report by entering the details in the register available with the ATM security guard.
  • File an FIR: Since carrying a fake currency note is an offence, you will need to report the fake currency note to your nearest police station.  Do not try to circulate the fake note. Any attempt to circulate a fake currency note can lead to a heavy fine and imprisonment of up to 10 years.
  • Report the fake currency to the bank: Take the fake currency note to the bank and inform the bank authorities. Give them the details of the complaint lodged in the ATM register, so that they can take up the issue with the ATM cash loading company.

FAQs on ATM disbursing fake currency notes

Will the bank exchange the note?

No, the bank will not exchange a fake note but will mark it as fake and destroy it.

Generally, do bank ATMs offer fake currency?

Banks check all currency notes using a fake currency checking machine and the chances of a fake note slipping through the ATM are extremely rare.

Are notes with no number fake?

Bank notes printed before 2005 will not have a number on the reserve side. These notes are simply old and obsolete but not fake. Find out how to identify pre-2005 currency notes.

Check out the video below to understand what you should do if the ATM fails to dispense cash yet your account gets debited:


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