A CCTV image of a woman police want to talk to about fake $50 notes found at Byron Bay and Tweed Heads.
A CCTV image of a woman police want to talk to about fake $50 notes found at Byron Bay and Tweed Heads.

Out of pocket if you accept forged notes

COUNTERFEIT $50 notes are in circulation across the Northern Rivers and if you are unlucky enough to receive a fake note you will be out of pocket.

Police have issued warnings that if people come across any fake notes they should hand them in to their local police station or bank.

The notes are then forwarded to the Reserve Bank which assists police with confirming the note is a forgery and provides intelligence to help catch people suspected of producing the notes.

A CCTV image of a woman police want to speak to about fake $50 notes found at Byron Bay and Tweed Heads.
A CCTV image of a woman police want to speak to about fake $50 notes found at Byron Bay and Tweed Heads.

If a note that is sent to the Reserve Bank is found to be genuine, the person who handed it in is reimbursed by the Reserve Bank.

Richmond Local Area Command Crime Manager Detective Inspector Greg Moore warned people to check $50 notes they receive to prevent any financial loss.

"If you accept counterfeit currency as genuine you are accepting something that is not legal tender so you are out of pocket," he said.

Det Insp Moore said despite people being left out of pocket if the note was counterfeit, police still encouraged anyone who received a fake note to hand it in.

"For police to identify and apprehend the people behind the counterfeit currency we need access to the notes."

Effectively it is the same as being robbed if someone has been given a counterfeit note.

A Reserve Bank spokesman said the website rba.gov.au provided some useful tools to identify fake bank notes.

The Reserve Bank does not provide refunds for forged notes as it would provide an opportunity for criminals producing counterfeit notes to pass more fake currency and be reimbursed for it.

Security features of banknotes

  • Polymer Substrate - Genuine notes are made of polymer and can't be torn, unlike most fakes.
  • Clear window- Check that the white image on the clear window can't be rubbed off.
  • Registration device-Diamond-shaped patterns printed inside a circle on both sides of a note form a seven point star when held up to the light.
  • Shadow print - When a genuine note is held up to the light, the Australian Coat of Arms should be visible under the print.
  • Intaglio print- raised printing that can be felt by running a finger across the portraits and other major design elements.
  • Background print- Multi-coloured and multi-directional fine-line patterns that appear on each side of the banknote should sharp and without irregularities.
  • Micro printing - Tiny, clearly defined words are printed near the portraits of all notes except the $5 where it is in the top left corner.
  • Fluorescent Ink - Serial numbers of genuine notes fluoresce under ultraviolet light.

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