TEL AVIV (Oct. 29)
Bogus 100 shekel notes are in wide circulation, and the Bank of Israel has issued a public alert.
Although described by the bank as “high-quality counterfeits,” the bills would seem easy to detect.
They bear only seven serial numbers instead of the official 10, and the paper has no watermark.
When inflation ran at double and triple digits some years ago, Israelis hoarded foreign currency, and counterfeit $100 bills were common.
An instrument to detect them was developed. It was the size of a cigarette pack and sold well.
Now, with the shekel relatively stable, counterfeiters are finding it profitable to forge the smaller but safer 100 shekel bills, which normally are not as carefully examined as foreign currency.