Counterfeit cash flooding Australia: Has your money been affected? 22



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There have been numerous incidents involving counterfeit cash around Australia lately. As fake fifty dollar notes surface, look out for these tell-tale signs when handling your hard-earned money.

Last month, police in Queensland charged one man with producing counterfeit cash after discovering falsification tools in his home. State police are also investigating a separate incident, where a woman used counterfeit cash to make purchases in Brisbane.

Authorities in Tasmania have likewise reported a “currency crime spree”, with counterfeit cash circulating throughout takeaway shops, petrol stations and local businesses. Detectives have warned these fifty dollar notes often look legitimate.

Detective Dave Harbison said reporting counterfeit cash can help police determine its source. The detective added, “a lot of people don’t report these (instances) but it is really important”.

People who knowingly use counterfeit cash to purchase goods and services can be charged with criminal offences. Moreover, banks will not reimburse any losses due to counterfeit money. Therefore it’s important to beware about these signs of forgery:

1. Polymer substrate

The plastic that Australian banknotes are made from gives them a distinctive feel. Polymer is hard to recreate, so counterfeits may feel thicker or thinner than genuine cash. Most counterfeit notes are printed on paper, and will therefore easily rip and tear. Counterfeits cannot return to their original shape, after being scrunched.

2. Clear windows

The clear window is a hallmark of Australian cash. Each banknote has a white image printed over the clear window, which should not rub off in genuine cases. There is a also a diamond-shaped pattern inside a circle, on both sides of every banknote. When held up to the light, these diamonds should create a star when looking through the note.

3. Intaglio printing

Intaglio is a form of printing that feels especially raised. If you run your finger over a genuine Australian banknote, the raised printing can be felt across each portrait and major design feature. Otherwise you may have a counterfeit note on your hands!

Police have asked anyone with information about this latest spate of counterfeit notes to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Have you ever encountered fake banknotes? Are you worried about this  latest “currency crime spree”?

Starts at 60 Writers

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  1. If I have had any of these notes it would be without knowing and they would not last long with me, I have bills to pay and food to buy and don’t have large amounts of cash left in my wallet at the end of the fortnight

  2. If you are a pensioner, hope you don’t get these notes, because you will lose the money value when you do the right thing and hand them in

  3. The Only time I get cash is from the ATM,so hopefully the bank has checked their own notes.I very seldom use cash anymore! Having said that I’m just having a chuckle,about all the $50 notes I distributed for Christmas,but I’m sure they’d have burnt a hole in their pockets by now!

    6 REPLY
    • Same here Catharine. When I do get cash from a bank I always get $5 and $10 notes. I hope those are safe. Hate the ATMs that spew out $50 notes.

    • I’m afraid I don’t have notes left,but oh my a purse full of coins with all the 5cent pieces stuck among the $2 coins,in the corners,just to confuse you!!

    • Catharine Keevill Spend those 5 cent pieces while you can. There is a rumour that they are going to stop making them.

    • Lol I take them to the bank and change them,along with the money in the jar that is the change from hubbie’s pockets! You can see their eyes roll,and yes, one of those Tellers told me they were going to phase the 5cent out! Then they’ll have to do the 10cent next won’t they?

  4. Well I suppose if governments can print money maybe we should all be allowed to print a few extras every year:)

  5. I mostly don’t carry much cash these days because I pay all my bills on-line and use EFT when shopping, so if I had any of these notes I would take them back to the bank because it would mean they had come out of their ATM machines which I would expect to be unlikely.

  6. Desperate times cause desperate measures, with all the unemployment happening it is only going to get worse. Technology has caused so much unemployment where is it going to end, more people on welfare and trying to find work no chance center of going into the black unless the fat cats pay tge right taxes,

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