Warning on foreign currency deals

MEMBERS of the public should be extra cautious when dealing with foreign currency during the World Cup, the South African Banking Risk Information Centre said yesterday.

MEMBERS of the public should be extra cautious when dealing with foreign currency during the World Cup, the South African Banking Risk Information Centre said yesterday.

The public needed to beware of counterfeit money and exchange control regulations, chief executive Kalyani Pillay said in a statement.

"Over and above not knowing whether the money you receive in exchange for your goods and services is legitimate or counterfeit, the public runs the risk of having difficulties exchanging foreign currencies at the local banks if they do not fall within the scope of people entitled by law to accept and exchange foreign currency."

The best course of action was to ask for cash payment for goods and services in South African rands.

There was always "a temptation" to want to be paid in currencies such as dollars and pounds because of their higher exchange values when compared with the local currency.

"But unless the party with whom the foreign currency is to be exchanged has been authorised by exchange control, they run the risk of being prosecuted."

Visitors were urged to only use legal channels such as Bureaux de Change at airports, tourist centres and banks to exchange currency. If they had trouble finding these, they could contact their embassies.

Those legally entitled to deal in foreign currency were reminded of the regulations restricting the number of days they could keep foreign currencies on their persons. - Sapa

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