Currency exchange in India is riddled with several issues. Perhaps the issue that poses the greatest danger to the everyday customer is the fact that several small-time money changers in India operate illegally in the so-called “black market”. The black market, as the name seems to suggest is the home to all the unscrupulous activities in the world. Many-a-times customers prefer to transact with the black market since they themselves want to circumvent the law and deal only in cash. However, most customers don’t realize how vulnerable they become to fraud and identity theft when partaking in such illegal transactions.
If there’s one thing that’s common to all illegal transactions, it’s that they all happen without a “bill”. In other words, the money changer provides no receipt confirming that the transaction ever happened. In order to avoid some extremely negative consequences, it’s a must for all customers to demand a bill/ receipt after completing a foreign exchange transaction. We find that most customers are not aware of these negative consequences so we thought we’d write this article to shed some much-needed light on this matter:
Enumerated below are a few reasons why you should not exchange currency without a bill, ever!
- Illegal in the eyes of law: Currency exchange in India without a bill is considered an illegitimate activity by the law. The dealer and the customer are both punishable by law for such illicit transactions.
- Illegally sourced money: It is important to understand how these money exchangers actually source their stock of currency in order to understand how it can affect you negatively. The black market essentially attracts all kinds of unscrupulous players including smugglers and even terrorists. The flow of actual currency notes within the black market is rather uncontrolled and it is quite possible that an ordinary black money exchanger in India may actually give you currency notes sourced through such illegal activities and this can be highly dangerous. In certain cases in the past, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has correlated a series of currency notes with a certain act of terrorism. Being found in possession of such currency notes can lead to serious legal implications.
- Counterfeit Money: It is equally important to understand that the authenticity of currency notes acquired through unscrupulous money changers in India can indeed be questionable. Smuggled currency notes are notorious for including fakes and unlike authorized money exchangers in India, who surrender fake currency notes upon discovering the same, money exchangers that operate in the black try their best to get rid of their fake notes by selling them to the customers.
- Misuse of Documentation and identity theft: When you give your personal documents to an unscrupulous dealer, it is indeed possible that he/ she may use copies of your documents for subsequent illegal transactions. What’s worse, these dealers are entirely capable of selling your documents to other illegal businesses, leaving you vulnerable to identity theft and financial fraud.
Hopefully, the above reasons abundantly clarify the pitfalls of currency exchange in India. Undoubtedly, some of the possibilities mentioned above are rare but they are not completely unheard of and we feel the consumer needs to know. Plenty of times customers deals with black market money exchangers in India only to avoid paying a tiny tax. They, however, miss the bigger picture. It is extremely imperative for one to choose a reliable money changer in India. Always insist for a bill! It’s the only way you know you’re in good hands.