צילום: בנק ישראל
Photo: Bank of Israel
The damaged bills

Elderly woman microwaves over NIS 10,000 in rent money fearing COVID

74-year-old Jerusalem resident says she bleached and microwaved the bills to disinfect them, following apparent advice from friend; central bank launches investigation, discourages doing so

Gad Lior |
Published: 11.18.21, 10:59
An elderly woman has microwaved over NIS 10,000 in rent money in an attempt to disinfect them from COVID-19, it emerged Thursday.
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  • The 74-year-old Jerusalem resident said that she has been doing so as to avoid coronavirus.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    צילום: בנק ישראל
    צילום: בנק ישראל
    The damaged bills
    (Photo: Bank of Israel)
    "This week I collected all the banknotes in the amount of thousands of shekels," she wrote to the Bank of Israel.
    "Fearing coronavirus, I touched banknotes with gloves and in my naivety I put them in a plastic bowl with bleach and heated them in the microwave to disinfect them. I left the kitchen and immediately came back smelling something burnt and the money burned.
    "I feel great guilt because it is money that does not belong to me. I am a loyal citizen and I have desecrated money. I intend to put a check in the said amount, and replace the defective bills. It makes me frustrated and makes it even harder for me to get through these difficult days tucked away at home, not to mention the financial troubles. I have a monthly pension that is not high."
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    צילום: בנק ישראל
    צילום: בנק ישראל
    (Photo: Bank of Israel)
    The case was transferred to the Bank of Israel's Currency Department for investigation, and that the appellant was reimbursed the full sum.
    "I learned my lesson," the woman told the bank staff. "I will continue to be on the house committee, but I will not heat the bills in the microwave or any other form."
    The Bank of Israel said in response that will continue to provide the people of Israel with currency services.
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