Counterfeit cash discovered in Kiama

Police are urging Illawarra residents to literally watch their money, after a Kiama business discovered a fake bank note in their daily takings.

A counterfeit ten dollar note was found after a Kiama cafe owner deposited business takings at his bank on Wednesday.

The teller identified the note as being fake. It will be forwarded to the Australian Federal Police for further analysis.

Lake Illawarra police inspector Andrew Koutsoufis said it was difficult to say if more counterfeit notes were circulating in the Illawarra, but residents should take care when handling cash.

‘‘This note could have been in circulation for some time,’’ he said.

Inspector Koutsoufis said there was no indication the fake note was connected to the seizure of $1.8 million in counterfeit currency during a raid of a Warilla property in June.

He said that haul consisted of $50 and $100 notes.

‘‘It is always good to look out for counterfeit notes. There are little indicators notes are fake, such as the feel of the paper, or if the bill is faded or crinkled,’’ Inspector Koutsoufis said.

‘‘It is also very difficult to replicate the clear window on the bill. Fake notes do stand out.’’

The Australian Mint handle coins, but the Reserve Bank of Australia are in charge of bank notes. An RBA spokesperson declined to comment directly on counterfeit currency, but the RBA’s website lists numerous ways to detect a fake note.

Authentic notes are plastic, while fake notes may feel different, or be thinner or thicker than a real note. Real cash is also very hard to tear, and should spring back when folded or crushed. 

The clear window in the bottom corner, micro-printed words on the bill, and the coat of arms and seven pointed star appearing when the note is held up to light, are features of authentic notes which are hard to replicate on fake currency.

The RBA urge people who think they have been given a counterfeit note to contact police immediately, and avoid touching the note if possible.

File picture.

File picture.