COUNTERFEIT money is circulating through the Northern Rivers with several Lismore businesses getting stung at the weekend.
"Big Rob" Bou-Hamdan said one counterfeit $20 note was passed over the counter of his kebab shop sometime between midnight and 1am on Saturday.
The note was darker in colour and papery to touch.
"It looked a bit funny, but I thought it may have been wet. Drunks drop their money," he said.
Counterfeit money totalling $240 was also passed over the counter at Mary Gilhooleys pub, McDonalds and the Night Owl convenience store. Two taxi drivers also accepted the notes.
Lismore detectives have seized the fake notes and launched an investigation into who is responsible for producing it.
Richmond Local Area Command Duty Officer Inspector Robert Cairnduff warned local residents and business owners to be on the lookout for the notes.
"I would encourage everyone to be extra vigilant when handling their money and if you do notice something odd or that doesn't look quite right, please contact us immediately," Insp Cairnduff said.
"The counterfeit notes that we have seized are not of great quality, however, in poor light or to the unsuspecting eye they could quite possibly be passed off as the real thing," he said.
Nimbin Pizza and Trattoria owner Helen Wise said counterfeit money had been circulating through Nimbin earlier this month.
She said she believed about $300 or $400 had been passed off to businesses in the town and she was warned to look out for any suspicious-looking notes.
Anyone who suspects they may have counterfeit money should call Lismore police on 6626 0599.
How to identify the real thing
- Genuine notes have a clear window.
- It is difficult to start a tear along an edge of a genuine note.
- A genuine banknote is printed on plastic and has a distinctive almost slippery feel.
- A genuine banknote has images that can only be seen when it is held up to the light.
- On genuine banknotes, the serial numbers fluoresce under ultra-violet light