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Warning as fake cash used at Aussie show

Here's how you can spot counterfeit cash.

South Australia Police have issued a warning after counterfeit cash used at the Royal Adelaide Show.
South Australia Police have issued a warning after counterfeit cash was used at the Royal Adelaide Show. (Source: South Australia Police) (SA Police)

A cash investigation has been launched after a customer was handed a counterfeit $50 note as change when trying to buy food at the Royal Adelaide Show this week.

Three different counterfeit notes have been identified at the show since yesterday, with police seizing the fake cash and issuing a warning to punters to be careful to inspect the currency they receive there.

A show stall employee was able to recognise one as a fake when a man tried to use it to pay on Thursday, while later that day a member of the public realised they’d been handed one as change when buying food, according to South Australia Police.

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Another vigilant staff member noticed a fake note being used today, police said.

At first glance the money appears to be real, but upon closer inspection the money appears to have a paper-like texture and can easily be torn.

“If you suspect you have a counterfeit note, please take it to the nearest police station.

Handle the note as little as possible and store it in an envelope,” South Australia Police said.

“Please be prepared to tell police the time and place where you believe you were passed the fake bank note and a description of the person or people you believe passed it to you.”

A tear can be seen in the fake $50 note used at the Royal Adelaide Show.
A tear can be seen in the fake $50 note used at the Royal Adelaide Show. (Source: South Australia Police)

Last month a warning was issued in NSW when a near-perfect-fake $50 was used there.

Police in Darwin urged caution in July, noting to check small details in the security window after fake $50 notes started making the rounds.

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.

Here's some handy tips to help identify if you've been given a fake note.
Here's some handy tips to help identify if you've been given a fake note. (Source: RBA) (Royal Australian Mint)

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