Hoax Forward About Identifying 'Fake' 500 Rupee Notes Resurfaces

An image with two Rs 500 notes has gone viral falsely claiming that if the green strip is close to Gandhi's face it is fake.


An old forward urging people not to accept a 500 rupee note if the green strip on the bill is closer to Mahatma Gandhi's image, is false.

The message also claims that if the green strip on the bill is closer to the signature of the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, then the note is genuine.

"Pls do not accept Rs.500 Currency note on which the green strip is close to Gandhi ji because it's fake. Accept a currency note where the strip is near Governor's signature. Please pass this message to all family and friends…"

Rs 500 WhasApp message
WhatsApp message

BOOM received the above message on its WhatsApp helpline number (7700906111) asking us to verify the same.

Viral on Facebook

Rs 500 fb post
Fb post

Click here to view, and here for an archive.


BOOM reached out to the Department of Currency Management (DCM) of the RBI via email and they responded with us links of how to identify a fake note.

DCM mail rbi
RBI email response

The official terminology used by the RBI for the green strip is 'security thread'.

In the above links, there is no instruction given by the RBI that states that a note is fake if the security thread is close to Gandhi's image on the note.

BOOM checked the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) official website and found a circular dated July 2, 2018 which details the detection and impounding of counterfeit notes.

RBI circular on RS 500 note
Master circular

According to the Master Circular by the RBI on ₹500 notes – Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series which is seen in the viral image, there is no mention about the specific placement designated for the security thread on the note.

Rs 500 rbi details
Description of Rs 500 note

Additionally, in the 17 features introduced in the Rs 500 notes, it makes no specific reference where the security thread should be aligned on the note.

The security thread's description is that it's feature is it changes colour from green to blue when the note is tilted.

Viral since 2017

Rs 500 in 2017
Facebook post in 2017

Click here to view, and here for an archive.

Check 4 Spam had debunked it on July 12, 2017, when it was viral in 2017.

Both version of Rs 500 legal

The RBI had issued had issued two versions of Rs 500 notes due to printing errors in a rush to print new notes after the demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes on November 8, 2016.

Both the notes are valid as News 18 reported, "The differences in the two sets of notes — shadow of Mahatma Gandhi’s picture, placement of the national emblem, colour shade and border size — are printing errors given the rush to meet the increasing demand, an RBI spokesperson has said."

cnn news 18 article 500
News 18 article

The then RBI spokesperson Alpana Killawala had said that it was likely that notes with printing defect has got released due to the current rush and people could freely accept such a note in transaction or return it to RBI reported The Economic Times on November 25, 2016.

cnn news 18 500
News 18 article

Claim Review :  Do Not Accept Rs.500 Currency Note On Which The Green Strip Is Close To Gandhi Because Its Fake
Claimed By :  Facebook Posts
Fact Check :  FALSE
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