A viral WhatsApp message claiming a 500 rupee note with an asterisk or 'star' sign in the number panel is fake and urging people not to accept such currency notes, is false and misleading.
BOOM found that the message is misleading. A spokesperson for the Reserve Bank of India confirmed that the notes with the star symbol are valid legal tender.
The viral message is being shared with a photo of a new 500 rupee note where the asterisk mark in the number panel is highlighted by a red arrow.
The photo is being shared with a caption saying, "Since last 2-3 days these 500 notes with * symbol have started circulating in the market. Such note was returned from IndusInd Bank yesterday. This is a fake note. Even today, a friend received 2-3 such notes from a customer, but immediately returned them due to lack of attention. The customer also said that someone gave this note in the morning. take care There has been an increase in the number of hawkers carrying fake notes in the market. Appeal - Please be a conscious citizen so spread this message to more and more of your brothers so that they are spared loss and foiled by the worthless thieves. thank you".
Click here to view the post.
Click here to view the post.
The photo is also circulating on WhatsApp with the same false claim.
BOOM reached out to Yogesh Dayal, Spokesperson, Reserve Bank of India who confirmed that the notes with the star symbol in the number panel are valid legal tender.
The Reserve Bank of India also issued a statement on July 27, 2023, clarifying the same.
"It has come to the notice of the Reserve Bank that the validity of banknotes with a Star (*) symbol present on the number panel has recently been the subject of discussions on some social media platforms," the statement said.
"...the Star (*) symbol is inserted in the number panel of a banknote that is used as replacement for defectively printed banknotes in a packet of 100 pieces of serially numbered banknotes," it further added.
The RBI introduced the Star series notes in 2006 as a replacement for defectively printed notes. Denominations such as Rs.10, Rs.20 and Rs.50 already had the Star series notes since then. (Read more about it here)
"In a serially numbered packet, banknotes with any defect, detected at the printing stage, are replaced at the note printing presses by banknotes having the same number so that the sequence of the packet is maintained. As a part of the Bank’s ongoing efforts to benchmark its procedures against international best practices as also for cost effectiveness at printing presses, it is proposed to adopt the STAR series numbering system for replacement of the defectively printed banknotes," the RBI had said at the time.
Adding, "The Star series notes will be legal tender and members of public may freely accept and use these notes."
The central bank issued the Star series in new 500-rupee notes in December 2016. Read more about it here.
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