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Fake currency notes go around Auckland

Counterfeiters seem to be getting the better of the authorities by continuing to circulate fake currency notes, challenging the security features of genuine ones.

Detective Sergeant Simon Beal of the Counties Manukau Financial Investigation Unit said that counterfeit currency is in circulation in the Auckland region.

Genuine polymer bank notes have security features that distinguish them from the fake variety, which are poor in quality, he said.

According to him, most fake notes were of $50 and $100 denominations.

“Some notes that have been found are clearly not genuine. With information available about how to detect a fake note, those who knowingly deal in them will not be able to claim ignorance. The fake notes are generally made of paper rather than the water resistant polymer that has ‘plastic’ feel. They are more easily ripped and generally do not have the watermarks and markings in the transparent windows,” he said.

Police have found counterfeit notes at various businesses throughout the Counties Manukau District, although the problem affects businesses and the public throughout Greater Auckland and the country.

“The issue of counterfeit notes is ongoing, but if you know that a currency note is counterfeit and still pass it on, you are committing a serious offence that is potentially punishable by a lengthy term of imprisonment,” Mr Beal said.

“People should always report to the Police if they think that they have received a fake note, whether in business or given as change,” he added.

Feel the difference

A real note has ridges that are easily felt.

There are two transparent windows on a real note. One has a fern on the left hand side and an ovoid shape which has the number of the denomination etched on the right hand side.

Real notes are made of a tough polymer which is resistant to rips and tears. If the note you receive is torn, then it is possibly a fake.

The polymer notes are stronger, nonporous and resistant to water

Real notes have a shadow of the Queen of England between the person pictured and the ovoid transparent window. Holding the note up to the light will show the shadow of the Queen.

You can inform the Police about fake notes on (09) 2629121 or report anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800-555111.

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