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April 13, 2024
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Fact Check: RBI clarifies 500-rupee notes with Star Mark are real, not fake

New Delhi: In response to the recent surge of rumors and misinformation circulating on social media and messaging platforms, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) came forward to clarify the authenticity of 500 rupee notes bearing a star symbol (*). The central bank issued a statement on Thursday addressing the misinformation surrounding these notes and debunking the claims that they are counterfeit.

Over the past few days, various posts claiming that fake 500 rupee notes marked with a star symbol were in circulation had been making rounds on social media platforms like WhatsApp. The misinformation led to confusion and concern among the public, prompting the RBI to intervene and provide accurate information on the matter.

The RBI’s official statement categorically stated that the 500 rupee notes featuring a star symbol are genuine and legally valid. Contrary to the rumors, the star-marked notes are not fake; instead, they have been introduced to replace misprinted notes.

According to the RBI’s explanation, the presence of a star symbol preceding the numerical value on a 500 rupee note signifies that this particular note is a replacement for a previously misprinted or damaged note. It is a common practice for central banks worldwide to introduce such replacement notes to maintain the smooth functioning of currency circulation and prevent financial disruptions caused by damaged or unusable banknotes.

The clarification from the RBI aimed to alleviate any concerns among the public regarding the legitimacy of 500 rupee notes with a star symbol. The misconception around these notes being counterfeit has been addressed, and the central bank has assured citizens that they can continue to use such notes in all their financial transactions without any hesitation.

According to RBI press release, The Reserve Bank of India at present issues fresh banknote packets containing one hundred (100) serially numbered banknotes. Each banknote bears a distinctive serial number along with a prefix. The prefix consists of the numeral and a letter/letters and is followed by a serial number. The number e.g. could be 4CC 456917.

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 Star series notes, to begin with, will be issued in lower denominations, that is, Rs.10, Rs.20 and Rs.50. The Star series notes will look exactly like the existing notes of Rs.10, Rs.20 and Rs.50 in the Mahatma Gandhi series but will have an additional character viz. a *(star) in the number panel. Packets with star series notes will have 100 pieces as usual but not in serial order. The Star series notes will be legal tender and members of public may freely accept and use these notes.

Consequently, some fresh banknote packets issued by the Bank may contain some notes having a *(star) in the number panel in the space between the prefix and the number. The packet will contain 100 banknotes, as hitherto. The number e.g. may be 4CC*456987. To facilitate easy identification of note packets containing star series notes, the bands on such packets will clearly indicate the presence of these notes in the packet.

To further reinforce the RBI’s clarification, the team of Press Information Bureau (PIB) Fact Check also took to social media to verify the authenticity of the star-studded 500 rupee notes. They confirmed that the star symbol on the notes had been introduced by the RBI from December 2016 onwards and that the messages claiming these notes to be fake were themselves based on false information.

With the RBI’s official statement and the backing of PIB Fact Check, the public has been urged to disregard the rumors and misinformation and remain confident in using 500 rupee notes with the star symbol in their day-to-day financial transactions. The clarification comes as a reminder for all citizens to rely on verified sources and official statements to stay well-informed and avoid falling victim to misinformation and fake news.

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