Australians are being warned to keep an eye out for counterfeit money after a convincing fake $50 note was handed in at a NSW petrol station last weekend.
The Shell petrol station on Chinderah Bay Rd in Chinderah, near Tweed Heads, sparked a heated debate online after posting images of two seemingly identical looking $50 notes on its Facebook page on Monday.
One of the notes was a fake used at the service station.
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The business posted an image of the notes, asking followers to ask which one was counterfeit — but it wasn’t an easy spot for most.
“Be wary as there are fake notes in circulation — we had one come through this weekend,” the business said.
“Incredibly, they have replicated the window and the seven point star on the bottom left of the window. The only thing they couldn’t replicate is the ultraviolet serial number … it doesn’t light up under a blue light.”
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The station added it hoped it could help prevent others from accepting fake notes.
One of the notes that had been handed into the station turned out to be fake. Credit: Facebook
The service station has since confirmed to 7NEWS.com.au the incident was reported to police on Monday.
Meanwhile, those in the comments section of the Facebook post were divided as to which note they believed was the fake with some guessing the top image “lacked detail” while others said the bottom note wasn’t faded enough to be considered real money in circulation.
“I think the top one is fake. But I would not have picked at a glance,” one person said.
“How do you even find out? They both look legit,” another added.
“The fake one is probably the bottom one as money in circulation is faded,” a third piped in.
In October last year, a Sydney business alleged that a student from an exclusive private school nearby asked him to swap four counterfeit $50 notes for two legitimate $100 notes.
There are a number of ways to check if a banknote seems real or fake. Credit: Queensland Police
And in July this year, the public was urged to be on the lookout for fake cash after a Darwin business handed in several fake $50 notes it had received to police.
That incident came just months after Queensland police warned of fake notes, particularly $100 notes circulating in the Bundaberg area.
But Queensland Police said there were a number of ways to check if a banknote seemed real or fake.
Firstly, counterfeit notes may feel much thicker or thinner compared to a genuine banknote.
Legitimate currency should also have the Australian Coat of Arms near the top right when held up to the light.
Diamond-shaped patterns, forming a star, can also be found printed inside a circle on both sides of legitimate banknotes.
The “window” on the banknote should be clear and unable to be rubbed off, while the pattern in the windows can be checked alongside genuine notes.
Another detail to check is if the black and shaded areas on the banknotes are printed with a special raised ink that can be felt with the finger as it is on genuine currency.
Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of Australia offers more detail advice on detecting fake notes and advises anyone who has come across a counterfeit to report it to police, touch the note as little as possible and store it safely for further investigation.
It said consumers had the right to refuse a banknote if they have concerns.
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