Tag Archives: zloty

Fake zloty – an adventure in misunderstanding

About 9 months ago I had an encounter with some fake złoty that could have cost me . It had been a nice summers day, and I was walking home at about 8pm past a few local shops that had closed for the evening, not long after moving to Poland. Suddenly, I spotted an interesting looking piece of paper on the ground.  To my surprise and delight, it appeared to be a 100 złotych note. The street was deserted, so there was no-one nearby that I could ask, in case they had dropped it. And with the shops nearby being closed, it was the same story there. Believing that it was ‘safe’ to claim it, I placed it in my wallet and continued home. I was obviously happy with the find, but thought nothing more of it for a while.

A few days later, my wife and I went to a local dry-cleaners to have a jacket cleaned. When the time came to pay, I produced my ‘lucky’ 100 PLN note. The cashier looked at it for a second, and then her eyes closed at little with suspicion. She opened the cash till and took out another 100 złotych note in order to compare them. After about 5 seconds of analysis, she decided that she could not accept my note. She thought that it looked dodgy . My wife had some other cash available instead, and offered to pay quickly. The cashier was satisfied that was fine, and we proceeded to finish the transaction. But understandably, it left me feeling both confused and disappointed that my lucky find was not for real.

Cash TillMoney, Money, Money

Later I took  a real 100zl from the ATM in order to compare. The fake was the right size and shape. It was creased in parts, meaning that it had the look of wear-and-tear of a normal note. The print ‘quality’ of the images and text and numbers on the note were very good also. However, the key difference was in the colouring. The real 100 złotych note is pale green in colour. The shade of green on the counterfeit version was a deeper, darker green with a touch of blue also. This was much more noticeable when the two sat side by side. Also, when checked under light it was not possible to see the watermark on the counterfeit note. The watermark is the most difficult thing to copy on official money, showing us that our 100 złotych was indeed fake. It was a bit of a disappointment indeed. We did see the light side of things though and it is now taking pride of place in our kitchen, held in place by a fridge magnet.

However, a Polish friend visited a few days ago and he spotted the note.  I explained the story to him and he said that we were in fact very lucky. He informed us that the cashier would have been ‘correct’ to possibly call the police to have us arrested for using counterfeit money. It could have been taken quite seriously. 

So, I guess the moral of the story is that sometimes it can just be ‘too good to be true’.

100zl_front

Can you spot the difference(s)?

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eBay Poland – Buyer beware

Poland has home-grown clones of every internet giant. If you’re Polish the chances are you don’t use Facebook, you use Nasza Klasa; you don’t use Skype, you use Gadu-Gadu; you don’t use Digg, you use Wykop; you don’t use The Onion, you use Polandian*; and you certainly don’t use eBay, you use Allegro.

The phenomenon of nation-specific versions of internet blockbusters has had web gurus scratching their heads for some time now (it’s a phenomenon that is certainly not unique to Poland). After all, every one of these international services allows you to converse, sell, bitch, moan and idly chat in every language under the sun, so why do language-specific clones of these sites do so well in their home countries?

Rather than hurt my brain trying to answer this question I present two examples from eBay Polska that may go some way towards an explanation:

eBay Poland

Not a business I think I’ll bother getting into

eBay Poland 1

…on the other hand

*notice the clever way I associated us with multi-million dollar websites there, that’s what I get paid for… no, wait, that’s not right

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