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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Be on your guard

When did you last visit your bank to take out money' Chances are you havenít in the past six months. You didnít have to, thanks to the ATM. But ever wondered what youíd do if you got a fake note from an ATM'

Itís rare ó but it is a scary prospect. Imagine being stuck with a dud Rs 500 note' Some people have turned so paranoid that they do not take out more than Rs 500 at a time to ensure that they get only Rs 100 notes. Thatís a solution, but could be irritating for the people waiting outside, and exasperating if one of the Rs 100 notes turned out to be fake. What is more, itís not quite conceivable if youíre taking out a big sum, say Rs 10,000.

In most cases, you wouldnít even realise that you have got a dud note till youíve tried to use it to pay something. And that could be very embarrassing. So, next time you take money out of an ATM, check the notes before putting them in your wallet. Hold them against light and look for the security marks. Make it a habit to do so every time you take money out of an ATM.

If a note looks dubious, report it to the guard. Contact the bank if itís still open, or call the contact centre if it has one, as quickly as possible. Use the service phone if the ATM has one.

Bankers say itís a complex problem. Itís impossible to track a fake note to a dispensing machine. Yet in most cases, the benefit of doubt goes in favour of the customer if he can prove his case to a certain degree.

If you have any queries about investing or taxes or a high-cost purchase you are planning, mail to: [email protected]

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