Retailers urged to check banknotes for counterfeits

Up to 50 counterfeit banknotes of different values have been accepted at businesses in the Canterbury area over the past fortnight, the Reserve Bank has revealed.

It is now urging Canterbury retailers to check banknotes’ security features to ensure they are not being duped.

new zealand dollar3“People need to check notes they receive over the counter using the look, feel, tilt technique,” Steve Gordon, Reserve Bank head of banking, said.

“These fakes don’t pass any of these tests which can be done quickly and easily as money is accepted and put in the till.”

Retailers are being reminded that genuine notes include a window with the bird and value matching the figure on the note. The window should feel like plastic and be smooth, except for the denomination printing, and when the note is tilted, a coloured bar will appear to move up and down the smaller printed bird. More information about identifying counterfeits is available on the Reserve Bank’s website.

“If someone offers you a fake note politely decline it and urge the person concerned to contact the police. Then contact Christchurch police yourself and hold any security video,” Gordon advised.

The counterfeits that had been accepted were picked up as they hit retailers’ back offices or the banking system, according to the RBNZ, so there were no issues with ATMs.

The Bank first got the word out to Christchurch business networks last week, but has now activated online advertising across Canterbury.

“New Zealand’s banknotes and coins are among the most secure in the world, and counterfeit rates are extremely low,” Gordon said.
“We typically see one or two fakes a month hit the banking system, and the last time we had a counterfeit spate like this was in Palmerston North a year ago.”

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