Fake banknotes circulating in South Australia’s Riverland have prompted a consumer warning from police, after a bakery was deceived by the scam.
- A counterfeit $100 note was passed at two Waikerie shops
- Liquid paper was used around the window of the note
- Police urge the public to report any counterfeit notes
Police have been notified of three recent incidents involving counterfeit $100 notes in the region over the past eight days.
On Saturday, a person unsuccessfully attempted to use a fake note at a Waikerie clothing shop.
“A vigilant cashier operator thought the note felt a bit funny and actually was able to tear it so quickly identified that it was counterfeit,” Detective Senior Sergeant Mick Clarke said.
“The person who passed the note over took it back and left the store.”
The same day, a forged $100 note was passed at the Waikerie Bakery.
“We received the counterfeit note early in the morning and took no notice of it,” baker and business owner Scott Jones told ABC Radio.
“It wasn’t until another $100 note went in on top of it that it caught the staff’s attention.
Four days earlier, a member of the public notified Berri police after finding a counterfeit $100 note outside a supermarket.
Difficult to tell fake money apart
Despite liquid paper being used around the watermark of that note, Mr Jones said it was “definitely difficult” to tell the fake money his business received was a counterfeit note.
He said his suspicions were raised about the note only after his wife saw a social media post warning of the scam.
“It’s maybe one or two millimetres shorter width-wise, a very slight colour variation. It has the window like all modern Australian notes,” he said.
“It’s not paper, it’s printed on some form of plastic type material, like normal notes. The material’s slightly textured so it does feel legitimate.”
Mr Jones said it was only after a close examination by police that he noticed an error with a distinctive diamond pattern at the bottom of the note.
“These particular counterfeit notes — the overlaying prints on both sides don’t perfectly make [a] five-pointed star,” he said.
Murray Mallee police have issued an alert to local businesses urging them to be vigilant, suggesting they compare any notes suspected of being fake with one known to be genuine.
“We’re just asking members of the public, in particular cashier staff in shops [and] local businesses, to be aware of the fact that there are some counterfeit notes going around,” Senior Sergeant Clarke said.
“The person who receives the note should secure it, handle it as little as possible and, if they can, perhaps place it an envelope and secure it and contact police on 131 444.
“If they want to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.”