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Serious warning over small detail on $50 note

Aussies have been told to stay on the lookout for this small detail on our money.

An image of a counterfeit $50 note with a zoomed in image of the picture window which shows the defects.
Aussies have been told to keep an eye out for this minor detail on out $50 notes. (Source: NT Police)

Aussies have been warned to keep a lookout for this small detail on our $50 notes, which could indicate you have a fake.

Police in the Northern Territory were provided with the counterfeit $50 notes by a local business in Darwin, but fake money has been making the rounds in other states too.

While, at first glance, the money appears to be real, upon closer inspection, the money has a “paper texture” and the security window has visible defects and has been glued on.


“Police are urging everyone to be vigilant of counterfeit money being distributed. Police are asking anyone who has received counterfeit money to immediately make contact,” the NT Police said.

Anyone with information is urged to contact police on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

How to spot counterfeit money

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) said anyone was within their rights to refuse to accept a bank note if they had concerns about it.

The RBA said it could be helpful to compare a suspect banknote with one you knew was genuine and to look for differences.

Other things the RBA said to look out for include:

  • Note texture: Is it plastic? Australian banknotes are printed on plastic and have a distinct feel. A suspect banknote may feel excessively thick or thin compared to a genuine banknote. It is difficult to start a tear along the edge of a genuine banknote. You can also try scrunching the banknote in your hand – a genuine banknote should spring back.

  • The Coat of Arms: If you hold the banknote to the light, you should see the Australian Coat of Arms.

  • The star: Diamond-shaped patterns are printed inside a circle on both sides of the banknote. If you hold the banknote up to the light, the patterns should line up perfectly to form a seven-pointed star.

  • The clear window: The clear window should be an integral part of the banknote and not an addition. Check that the white image printed on the window cannot be easily rubbed off. Also look for the embossing – there is a wave pattern in the window of the $10 banknote, and the value of the banknote in the windows of $20, $50 and $100 banknotes.

An infographic showing a checklist of things to check on Australian money if you suspect it is not real.
There are a number of things Aussies should check if they're worried about a banknote they have received. (Source: RBA)

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