Counterfeit cash: Businesses warned, Lower Hutt person found with 14 fake $100 notes

Wellington police are warning businesses to be on the lookout for counterfeit money, after fake $50 and $100 banknotes were presented at businesses recently.

Police are working to find the source of these banknotes, with one person having been charged in Lower Hutt for possession of 14 $100 banknotes.

It was important for people to understand it is both an offence to make, use or be in possession of counterfeit banknotes, said Detective Senior Sergeant Nick Pritchard.

The Reserve Bank has clear guides outlining the security features of New Zealand banknotes and how to spot counterfeit notes.

Security features are the same on all denominations, and businesses involved in handling money should be aware of security features within New Zealand banknotes, Pritchard said.

If you believe someone is trying to pass you a counterfeit banknote, do not accept it and notify police, he said.

If you find you’ve already received a counterfeit banknote, put it in an envelope to avoid handling it further, and get in touch with police.

Anyone with information about the manufacture or distribution of counterfeit banknotes is asked to contact Police on 105.

Information can also be provided anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

The Reserve Bank: How to spot counterfeit notes:

Check out the windows
Inside the large clear window is a hologram featuring a fern and a map of New Zealand. It also contains the same bird featured on the left-hand side of the note. There is also an embossed print denomination below the hologram

All washed up
Polymer notes and their inks are water resistant. There should not be any blotches or running of the inks.

Get out the glass
Tiny micro-print of the note denomination should be visible with a magnifying glass. On the large numeral, the letters “RBNZ” are in microprint. On the front of the note, the foil inside the window reads “RBNZ 10 TE PŪTEA MATUA 10”. On the back are the numbers “10101010…” and “RBNZ”, between New Zealand and Aotearoa

Feel for real
Polymer notes have raised printing, which can be felt when you run your fingers over it.

It’s a serial
Each note has an individual serial number printed horizontally and vertically and these numbers match exactly. If the serial numbers are missing, or if you have several notes with the same serial number on all of them, some or all of those notes could be counterfeit.

Does it glow?
Most commercial papers used in forgeries glow under an ultraviolet light, but our notes use special inks which look dull except for specific features that glow brightly. For example, the front of each genuine note includes a fluorescent patch showing the denomination.

No to fuzz
All images should appear sharp and well defined – not fuzzy and washed out.

Check for the change
The colour of the bird changes when the note is tilted, with a rolling bar going diagonally across.

Line it up
When the note is held up to the light irregular shapes on the front and the back of the note combine like puzzle pieces to show the note’s denomination.

Rip into it
Polymer notes are tough, but most counterfeits are only paper. Moderate force should not start a tear in the note.

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