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.