POLICE from the Richmond Local Area Command are warning residents to be on the lookout for counterfeit $100 and $50 notes.
Detective sergeant Bernadette Ingram said over the past two days police had received calls about counterfeit notes from retailers at Lismore and Ballina.
"In the last two days we have collected bank notes from seven retailers," she said.
"It would appear that the offenders are trying to cash in the larger notes on small items so that they get the genuine cash back."
Det Sgt Ingram said unlike some previous counterfeit notes, these counterfeit's were plastic.
"Quite often they're paper but these particular notes are plastic, which is where when you first look at them they might appear genuine," she said.
"But they have a very different feel to them.
"On the Reserve Bank website is says if you crush a bank note they should spring back and these ones don't.
"The clear window on these notes looks like it is an add on, not an intrinsic part of the note."
So far, Det Sgt Ingram said, the notes have only been detected at businesses in Ballina and Lismore.
"Detectives are making enquiries and following it up but we are appealing to the public to be on the lookout," she said.
"If people come across what they believe is a fake or a suspect note they should contact police."
Det Sgt Ingram reminded people that it was an offence to attempt to pass off a counterfeit note.
"They are picking the retailers when they are busy because they are less likely to take much notice," she said.
If you come across a counterfeit note call Lismore police on 6626 0599 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Tips for identifying counterfeit bank notes.
- Check that the note is plastic - it has a distinct feel
- Look at the star on both sides of the note - the points should line up perfectly to form a seven point star when held up under light
- Look at the coat of arms - you can see it when you hold the note up to the light
- Check the clear window - it should not look like it has been added onto the note
- Feel the dark printing - it can be felt when you run your fingers over it
- Check the print quality - the background printing should be sharp
For more information on identifying bank notes visit http://banknotes.rba.gov.au/assets