A Whatsapp forward claiming that the US government has decided that its currency notes printed before 2021 will no longer be valid from January 2023 has gone viral. According to the forward, which we have also received on our Whatsapp tipline, the demonetisation move was taken during a meeting between “United States Federal Reserve Bank, Office of the Comptroller of Currency, IMF, World-Bank and Governors of Africa’s Central Banks”.
The rationale behind this decision, the text stated, was to “curb billions of illegal monies in dollar bills warehoused around the African continent emanating from drug related, terrorism, kidnapping and money from corrupt politicians.”
Here’s how the message reads –
DEMONETIZATION NOW BY USA………..Any US Dollar Notes Below Year 2021 Will Not Be Acceptable From January 2023 – US Govt
Sequel to the just concluded extraordinary meeting held in Washington DC on Nov. 2nd 2022 between the United States Federal Reserve Bank, Office of the Comptroller of Currency, IMF, World-Bank and Governors of Africa’s Central Banks, the United States Govt has set date for restriction on acceptable legal tender note of US Dollar which will commence on Jan. 31st 2023.
The restriction implies that any US Dollar note below 2021 printed date will no longer be accepted or be a legal tender anywhere in the world… This effort is to curb billions of illegal monies in dollar bills warehoused around African continent emanating from drug related, terrorism, kidnapping and money from corrupt politicians.
As part of the enforcement of the strict action plan, African central banks will be assigned with a special agent from the Office of the Comptroller of Currency, Administrator of National bank United States of America to checkmate all inflows and outflows of dollar transactions.
The report also has it that US president has also written to British Government and European Union to tour same line and redesign their currencies accordingly to frustrate those with ill-gotten money in US dollar, British Pound Sterling and Euros.
Lessons learnt from India😝
The link directs us to what appears to be a news report from “Observer Times”, dated November 5, 2022, which repeats the content from the viral text.
Newschecker first ran keyword searches for “US note ban”, “US demonetisation”, which did not throw up any official reports of such a decision by the US government.
We then ran a search to see if there was any news outlet by the name “Observer Times”, which also did not show any relevant results of such a report. However, we noticed the masthead of the news report, which shows one Usman Okai Austin in the manner of a poll campaign. A quick search for the individual led us to multiple write-ups, seen here and here, from which we learnt that the report was based out of Nigeria.
We then learnt, via a keyword search for “Nigeria demonetisation”, that the country had recently announced its plan to redesign the country’s highest paper denominations – the 200-, 500- and 1,000-naira notes. “Nigeria’s currency, the naira, has dropped to a record low against the US dollar as Nigerians scramble to buy US currency ahead of a redesign of naira notes. Nigerian authorities say replacing the notes will reduce inflation, combat counterfeiting and bring more money into circulation,” read a news report, adding that the new naira notes will begin circulating in mid-December, and the old notes will cease to be legal tender by the end of January. This was the same timeline indicated in the Whatsapp forward, raising our doubts.
Next, we went to the official website of the US department of treasury, where we did not find any such announcement of scrapping currency notes.
From this site, we were led to the US Currency Education Program (CEP), which is responsible for ensuring that users of US currency around the world have access to education, training, and information about Federal Reserve notes.
“Managed by the Federal Reserve Board (Board), the CEP works closely with our government partners at the U.S. Secret Service (USSS) and the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) to raise awareness about how to use the design and security features of U.S. currency,” the description stated.
According to the “History of US Currency” section of the site, the latest note to be redesigned by the US dates back to 2013 — the redesigned $100 note, proving that there has been no recent move towards printing new notes.
Also, the CEP states that “it is U.S. government policy that all designs of Federal Reserve notes remain legal tender, or legally valid for payments, regardless of when they were issued,” thus confirming that the viral forward is fake.
The viral claim that the US has implemented a note ban, rendering all dollar bills printed before 2021 as illegal after January 2023, was found to be false.
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