Peru’s Fake Money


Peru is the world leader in counterfeiting fake money. Here is the inside story of this huge industry which is based in Lima.

Those of us who have lived in Peru are very aware that the streets are flooded with fake money. It’s important that travelers be mindful when they are dealing with money in Peru.

Vice recently went undercover in order to explore the depths of this organized and booming industry.


Tips for identifying if your dollars are real

  • The best way to get real dollars is from an ATM. Also, this is usually the best place to get the fairest exchange rates between currencies.
  • Check the feel of the money. Does it have the same texture as other bills that you have?
  • If you grab a bill with both hands and yank at the money, does it stay firm?
  • You can find pens on the street which detect fake money when you pass it across the bill in question.
  • When in doubt, ask a local to verify the authenticity of the money you have. Or better, go to a bank and ask a teller to verify the legitimacy of the money you have.


Cover art: Wikimedia



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