Watch for fakes, police warn

MEGAN MILLER
Last updated 12:05 28/12/2012
fake $50
FAIRFAX NZ
WARNING: Timaru police are urging people to check cash carefully over concerns counterfeits may be in the area.

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Businesses are urged to be vigilant after someone tried to pay a Timaru shop with $50 notes that appeared to be fake.

The incident occurred last week.

Sergeant Greg Sutherland said the shop didn't accept the notes, and they weren't found when police later spoke to the suspect.

The New Zealand Retailers Association warned in early December that counterfeit $50 notes were reportedly circulating in Auckland and Wellington.

In July 2011 the Reserve Bank of New Zealand announced plans to upgrade all New Zealand notes, citing a need to ensure the security features within the notes are up-to-date.

''With technology constantly evolving, it is important our banknotes keep up, to help ensure counterfeiting levels remain low,'' the agency's website states.

The upgraded notes are expected to be released starting in 2014.

In the meantime, the Reserve Bank has released a list of security features that retailers can look for to help ensure notes are genuine:

● Each polymer note has two transparent windows. One of the transparent windows is oval and has the denomination of the note embossed in it. The other window is in the shape of a curved fern leaf.

● There is a printed fern immediately above the clear fern-shaped window. When you hold the note to the light, the fern should match perfectly with another fern on the other side.

● You should be able to see a shadow image of the H. M. Queen Elizabeth II when you hold the note to the light.

● Each note has an individual serial number printed horizontally and vertically.

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

● Tiny micro-printed letters ''RBNZ'' should be visible with a magnifying glass.

● Most commercial papers used in forgeries glow under an ultraviolet light, however the polymer notes use special inks which appear dull except for specific features that glow brightly. For example, the front of each genuine note includes a fluorescent patch showing the denomination.

● All images should appear sharp and well defined - not fuzzy and washed out.

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- The Timaru Herald

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