Australians have been warned to be on the alert against counterfeit banknotes, after Tasmania Police received several reports of fake money recently.
“In the last week, police have received at least seven reports of counterfeit $50 and $100 notes tendered to businesses on the North West Coast,” Tasmania Police said in a statement on Facebook.
“All businesses and staff are urged to be vigilant when accepting money and to check notes are real, especially $50 and $100.”
However, there is a clear giveaway the cash is fake: the Chinese writing printed on them.
“If anyone has a bank note in their possession and they are concerned about the authenticity, they should contact police immediately,” Tasmania Police said.
The warning has since been shared 732 times, with hundreds of people expressing their shock at the counterfeits.
“Haha you would think the Chinese writing might be a hint,” one person said.
“Is that the actual size of the writing? If you miss that, it might be time for a trip to Specsavers,” added another.
However, it’s likely the notes were never printed with crime in mind, and were in fact printed to train Chinese bank tellers, with the Chinese characters reportedly reading: "Training Money. SAMPLE. Only for practice. Circulation Forbidden.”
The notes have been sold online at Wish and eBay, generally with disclaimers that they’re not intended for use.
"These notes are the kind that are available quite commonly over eBay," Detective Senior Sergeant Leafe from the Northern Territory Police said in 2017, following a similar spate of usage.
"They are training notes. They're not a counterfeit currency so to speak but they are something that can be used to deceive store owners."
If you believe you have a fake note in your possession, you should contact the police, while anyone with information on the purchasing or production of counterfeit notes or fake money should also contact the police on 131 444, or Crime Stoppers anonymously on 1800 333 000.