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Man discovers $100 note was 'worthless' due to tiny detail

Peter was travelling through Thailand and was confused why the money wasn't accepted at a currency exchange.

An Aussie travelling through Thailand has discovered his money was practically worthless thanks to a tiny detail. While rips and tears can sometimes reduce the value of notes, a mark meant to verify legitimate notes could have been to blame for the awkward situation.

Peter Fuller was left scratching his head when he tried to get some local currency on his trip. He asked people on social media if they knew why he was knocked back.

"Went to exchange AUS currency for Thai baht in Thailand and they rejected this note because of this little blue stamp, anyone got any idea why?" he said on Facebook.

$100 Australian note with a blue mark on it
Peter's $100 note was rejected in Thailand and he wanted to know what the blue mark was. (Source: Facebook)

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His post was flooded with theories and queries on what was behind the snub.


"My guess, it is more to do with the denomination of the note being $100 than anything else. I couldn’t get any American businesses to accept an American $100 bill in their own country because of the fraud factor," said one individual.

"Broken when it has any rips or marks," wrote another.

"I have had several with that blue mark on them in the past six months for some reason including $50 notes as well," added a third.

Thailand has very strict rules on the type of currency it accepts, according to Wise, and it will turn away any notes that have been "defaced" or "damaged". Travellers have been warned to bring only "crisp" and "clean" notes if they want to get them exchanged for local currency.

In this case, the teller at the currency exchange might have looked at the blue stamp as being defaced and rejected it.

This has stung other travellers in the past, with people posting online how they had notes knocked back because of random markings you'd normally not even notice.

"We took cash over because of the cost of changing traveller's cheques," recalled one tourist. "So took £2,000 out of the bank in used notes. When I tried to change £200 on our first day the cashier passed 4 x £20 notes back to me as they had writing on them. This happened every time I tried to change money."

Another said on social media: "One thing I observed today while exchanging currency was the exchange centers didn’t accept one of my $50 note. Reason - there is a pen mark which is written on the note. Obviously I didn’t check this when I withdrew the money at an ATM in Sydney."

Thankfully the man's $100 note isn't completely worthless because he could still use it as legal tender in Australia, however, in Thailand, it won't get him far.

It's not completely clear what the stamp is, but it could be what's called a "chop mark".

Money changers sometimes mark notes, particularly ones of high value, with a stamp after determining they're authentic. Coin Exchange claims this is common in regions such as Asia, Africa or Latin America, where "counterfeit American currency is more rampant".

"The chop mark signifies to people living in the area that the bills are legitimate," the site said. "Chop marks can appear in different patterns, symbols and colours, depending on the region and exchange house.

"Chop marks are seen as an additional layer which protects both merchants in developing countries as well as their customers."

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