Unannounced changes to the appearance of the $50 note sparked counterfeiting fears on social media yesterday.But the Central Bank says the changes were made to assist the visually-impaired and update of the latest polymer currency.
On several social media posts yesterday, various users shared photos of the bills noting a difference in text and colour claiming that it was being duplicated by fraudsters.
Many warned their friends and others to be careful when using the $50 bills during this upcoming festive season and pointed out the new changes to the bill claiming that it was "a fake."The text on top of the note was faded away and there is extra colour on the red bird.
The new polymer $50 was brought into circulation last December.Charlene Ramdhanie, Central Bank's senior manager of Strategic Communications and International Relations, said yesterday the $50 bill had not been counterfeited and members of the public should not worry as it was still of good use.
Ramdhanie said there were changes made to the bill. One of the reasons, she said, was to assist the visually impaired.
"There is no counterfeit of the polymer $50 2015 series issued by the bank. There was a removal of commemorative text. We made small changes to the notes generally that they (public) would note."
Ramdhanie said the changes to the notes were made after consultation with the Blind Welfare Association.
"We added a blind ember feature for the visually impaired and another security feature added with a mask feature added on the red capped cardinal," she said.
Blind Welfare Association chief executive officer Kenneth Surratt said the association had been working with Central Bank for years now.
"We told them the world is polymer–a type of plastic and put a raised mark on it. Once you touch it they will tell the difference.
"We are very happy that the Central Bank saw it fit that we did not have to go to court to make the T&T dollar accessible.
"It was a win/win for all. We are first country, excluding Canada, to make our currency accessible," he said.