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Police Urge Vigilance Around Counterfeit Notes

Police are warning Eastern Bay retailers to remain vigilant for counterfeit money this festive season.


It follows several reports of fake notes in stores across New Zealand this year, including in Whakatāne.


Police urge retailers and the public to increase their knowledge around banknote security and report any fake notes they come across.


"There are two styles of legal banknotes currently in circulation, and any fakes easily fail the look-feel-tilt test," says Senior Police Document Examiner Jessica Owen.


“Our advice to cash handlers is to look at the other security features on the note,"


“If the banknote has a bird at the lower left front, tilt the note back and forth. A rolling bar of colour will move up and down the bird as the banknote is tilted. You can also hold it up to a light and see a fern in the centre of the bird." Owen says.


“The older style of banknote has a small oval window at the front right. Holding it up to a light will show a watermark of the Queen to the left of this oval window."


“Finally, if you have access to a UV torch or blacklight, both styles of genuine banknote have a patch showing the denomination that will glow, located on the front left of the note.”


"Checking for the security features, together with the look-feel test, will help prevent these losses.” Owen says.


Anyone who finds a counterfeit note are urged to report it to Police as soon as possible.


Police note, manufacturing counterfeit notes, or knowingly passing them on is a serious offence. Possession of forged bank notes can be punishable by up to seven years in prison, or up to 10 for using one. 


Image: NZ Police.



Public Interest Journalism funded through New Zealand On Air.

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