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Counterfeit notes in Mullumbimby and Coraki

The counterfeit $50 note that was passed off in Mullumbimby recently. Photo Aslan Shand.

A counterfeit $50 note has been sent back by the bank to a local shop in Mullumbimby this week leaving the shop owner down on takings. The note was returned after the bank identified it as a fake.

A similar case has come to light in Coraki today with a fake $100 note used at a licensed premises at Coraki over the weekend. Police are investigating the incident.

Counterfeiting in Australia is low compared to international standards. However, the rate has been rising in recent years, and the quality of counterfeits detected has also been improving,’ said a spokesperson for the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).

According to to the RBA Bulletin article, Recent Trends in Counterfeiting ‘counterfeiting can be highly episodic in nature as counterfeiters ramp up their activities and law enforcement agencies respond.’

‘The increasing availability of high-quality, low-cost graphic reproduction technology has allowed criminals to be able to produce larger volumes of more sophisticated counterfeits. However, to be able to then distribute these in large volumes typically requires some sort of organised distribution network.’

Check you currency

If you suspect you have a counterfeit note handle it as little as possible, note any relevant information about how it came into your possession and report it to the police immediately. 

Four steps are recommended to check a counterfeit notes: 1. Is it plastic? Try to tear or scrunch the note to check 2. Look for the coat of arms near the denomination number eg the ’50’ by holding your bank note to the light 3. Look for the seven pointed star when you hold the note to the light and 4. Check that the clear window with the stars on it is an integral part of the banknote.

In 2016/17 there were 20,749 counterfeit $50 notes detected with a nominal value of $1,037,450 and 4,302 $100 notes with a nominal value of $430,200.

Richmond police stated that when fake notes pop up it usually means there are more floating around.


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