Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

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Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

Post by bazza4338 »

Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

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https://www.theage.com.au/victoria/counterfeiters-flood-melbo ... uqzld.html

Fake $100 notes are being passed at restaurants, pubs and shops across Melbourne as a counterfeiting ring has begun flooding the city with high-quality forged bills.

The influx of forged currency comes as the federal government considers a proposal to permanently remove the $100 note from circulation because of its popularity with organised crime syndicates, drug traffickers and tax cheats using the black economy.

In December 2016, Financial Services Minister Kelly O'Dwyer established a special task force to investigate the cash economy following a surge in the number of $100 notes in circulation detected by the Reserve Bank of Australia.

The new fake $100 bills are considered to be of a high-quality with only one major flaw - each has the same serial number: "AI 13933231".

A source familiar with the bills said they had the same feel as a the polymer notes, and included the clear window with a lyrebird.

Fairfax Media understands there may be at least two counterfeiting rings currently operating around Melbourne.

Sources say one group may be behind a cache of $2 million worth of poor-quality counterfeit $50 and $100 notes that were found amongst building rubbish at a regional recycling depot in 2016. The printed but uncut bills appeared to be left over from a failed 'test run'.

Another group linked to Middle Eastern crime figures was believed to be printing notes until late last year using an industrial property in the outer northern suburbs as a cover.

It is unknown whether this latest batch of fake $100 notes is linked to either of these operations.

Last month, two men were arrested at a Chapel Street nightclub after attempting to pass two $100 bills which were fakes. The men, claimed the notes had been withdrawn from a automatic teller machine in Ferntree Gully.

According to the latest figures from the RBA, the rate of counterfeiting of $100 bills remains low in comparison to the number of $50 fakes detected.

Around 3650 fake $100 notes were discovered in 2016, compared to more than 22,000 counterfeit $50 notes.

"Liaison with AUSTRAC (Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre) and the Australian Crime Commission suggests that it is the $50 denomination – rather than the $100 – that tends to be preferred by criminal elements because of its ubiquitous use in legitimate transactions," according to a recent RBA research report.

But the number of fakes detected by the RBA is likely to represent only a fraction of the amount of counterfeit notes flowing through the economy amid a massive spike in the number of counterfeiting operations being uncovered by law enforcement agencies.

The regulator has also flagged concerns about a surge in the proportion of $100 bills circulating in the economy, which has doubled in the last 20 years despite the move towards "cashless" purchasing technology.

The use of $100 bills increased by nine per cent over the past year, compared to a six per cent rise for $50 bills and two per cent for $20 bills.

The RBA has already launched a program to upgrade the security features of Australia's currency, which are now more than 20 years old and vulnerable to advances in digital scanning and printing technology.

The $5 note was replaced last year, while a new $10 note will be introduced in late 2017.

But the lengthy production schedule for the new currency means it will take at least until late 2019 for an updated $100 note to enter circulation.

The Australian Federal Police and RBA did not comment on the new counterfeit notes turning up in Melbourne.
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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

Post by aethelwulf »

bazza4338 wrote:the federal government considers a proposal to permanently remove the $100 note from circulation
Could you get by without a $100 note? The UK only goes as high as 50 quid, that's $100+ AUD. The USA of course has it's $100. Canada has a $100. The Canadian government did pull the $1000 note a few years ago, "after studies indicated it was not widely used by the general public." :roll:
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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

Post by Global Admin »

Nah. Waste of time.

500 Euro

1000 Swiss Francs

And I recall Singapore has a REALLY high one?

And the UK DOES have 100 quid as I recall.
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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

Post by ewen s »

aethelwulf wrote:Could you get by without a $100 note?
You'd have to ask the bookies and the casinos.

Can't think of any other place I've received higher than a pineapple [$50] in change.
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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

Post by BigSaint »

ewen s wrote:
aethelwulf wrote:Could you get by without a $100 note?
You'd have to ask the bookies and the casinos.

Can't think of any other place I've received higher than a pineapple [$50] in change.
Ewen

Is it possible to receive a $100 note in change :?:

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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

Post by ewen s »

Yes. At the casino or the races you can cash in a ticket or chips and receive $100 notes in change. :D

Not often. :?
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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

Post by BigSaint »

ewen s wrote:Yes. At the casino or the races you can cash in a ticket or chips and receive $100 notes in change. :D

Not often. :?
Ok, I receive them in exchange for my ticket or chips. :)
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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

Post by ewen s »

Yes, all 'change is received in exchange :wink:

In any case bookies and casinos stock $100 notes, but maybe not out of a need to supply change rather as a result of ... 'investments'.
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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

Post by vikingeck »

Global Administrator wrote:Nah. Waste of time.

500 Euro

1000 Swiss Francs

And I recall Singapore has a REALLY high one?

And the UK DOES have 100 quid as I recall.
Bank of England only goes up to £50 in general circulation. The three Scottish banks have always had £100 but these are not in general circulation . I think you would have to ask for them specifically from the bank for some money laundering transaction involving cash!

I do recall having 3 X £100 at one time to pay my University Tuition fees way back in 1960 !
whatever it is -------it's better than a poke in eye with a wet umbrella !
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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

Post by JonEboy »

And just to make sure the whole of the UK is represented, Ulster Bank also issue a £100 note http://www.acbi.org.uk/ulster_bank.php. :D

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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

Post by Global Admin »

Yes that is why I typed UK. Last I heard NI was part of it. :lol:

A member here sent me several x £100 to pay for something.
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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

Post by vikingeck »

Wow!

NI £100 work in Australia?

They would get very funny looks in the rest of the UK!

I have not seen any Scottish £100 or even Scottish £50 in general circulation even in Scotland. We do see bank of England £50s more often.
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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

Post by mikeg »

So much for all the boasting about the polymer notes being 'impossible' to counterfeit :shock:

So these are even being printed locally - normally everyone blames China :lol:

It means the equipment to create them is easily available - I thought that the printing presses were only made by a single supplier and the police knew who owned them. I guess not :P

It also means that in other countries like Canada that use these bills there are sure to be counterfeits in circulation - they simply have not been reported yet.

On the other hand, the total amount of these counterfeit bills is still only a tiny fraction of the online financial fraud that occurs everyday, so I will stick with cash whenever I can :D
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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

Post by Raz »

I think the forgers must have somehow stolen some rolls of the polymer used with the clear watermark as it wouldn't print easily otherwise.

Perhaps someone more numismatically inclined or with knowledge of printing technology can tell us more.

At least with only one serial number it is easy to check if the note you have been given is a forgery.
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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

Post by Allanswood »

mikeg wrote:So much for all the boasting about the polymer notes being 'impossible' to counterfeit :shock:

So these are even being printed locally - normally everyone blames China :lol:

It means the equipment to create them is easily available - I thought that the printing presses were only made by a single supplier and the police knew who owned them. I guess not :P

It also means that in other countries like Canada that use these bills there are sure to be counterfeits in circulation - they simply have not been reported yet.

On the other hand, the total amount of these counterfeit bills is still only a tiny fraction of the online financial fraud that occurs everyday, so I will stick with cash whenever I can :D

Except that they don't say that the metal thread is present, the image of the coat of arms appears as a shadow, has a Captain Cook watermark, the serial numbers are UV reactive, there is both raised and embossed areas etc etc.

I can run a photocopy off that will pass in the pub on a busy night. A good laser printer and some sheets of polymer overhead projector film might do.

There are so many security features that it can't be counterfeited, just dodgy copies.
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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

Post by Global Admin »

Raz wrote:I think the forgers must have somehow stolen some rolls of the polymer used with the clear watermark as it wouldn't print easily otherwise.
The entire substrate is clear polymer film.

The clear sections you see are bits that are not printed on. :lol: :lol:

They are printed in both offset and recess intaglio also with a zillion other security features.

As Greg says in a pub on busy night you could hand draw one and pass it, but faking our currency to even beginner level is near impossible. All the same serial number is amateur hour stuff.
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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

Post by vikingeck »

we had a bit of a Vegan and Hindu fuss over the Bank of England £5 where the ink contained a microscopic amount of Animal fat .

Did this also occur in the printing of Aus Notes or did the counterfeiter use a non animal substitute ?===
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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

Post by bazza4338 »

https://banknotes.rba.gov.au/counterfeit-detection/security-features-overview/

Image

Click the above URL for video

Australian banknotes are among the safest in the world.

And to keep them that way the Reserve Bank is introducing a new series of banknotes.

Now in circulation is the new five-dollar banknote.

You'll see many innovative security features including a distinctive top-to-bottom window.

Tilt the banknote and you'll see an Eastern Spinebill move its wings.

Inside the Federation Pavilion at the bottom of the window is a number 5 that changes direction.

Turn the banknote over and in the top corner you'll see a prominent patch that changes colour in a rolling effect.

And there's a tactile feature to assist the vision-impaired community. Importantly, all existing banknotes can continue to be used.

The Reserve Bank is making our banknotes 'Clearly More Secure'.

See more at banknotes.rba.gov.au

Australia has one of the lowest rates of counterfeiting in the world.

Most people will never see a counterfeit.

Even so, it is vitally important that people are aware of the security features included on Australia's banknotes.

To determine if a suspect banknote is a counterfeit, it is best to compare it with a banknote that is known to be genuine.

These videos demonstrate how to use the security features to identify genuine Australian banknotes.

Download a Security Feature Flyer for the new $5 banknote: PDF 3.1MB

View Counterfeit Detection Guide: HTML or Download PDF 754KB
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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

Post by bazza4338 »

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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

Post by bazza4338 »

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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

Post by mikeg »

Those of you who believe the hype about 'impossible' to counterfeit will not want to read any of these :lol:

http://www.smh.com.au/business/australia-flooded-with-fake-5 ... n5546.html

From the article:

"Counterfeiters are now able to produce large runs of fake bills using equipment readily available to the public that are high-quality enough to fool even the forgery detection systems used at banks."

"In one 2010 raid, NSW Police uncovered enough polymer film to manufacture an estimated $40 million worth of counterfeit $50 notes."

"The quality of the $50 notes tendered in evidence was such that I was unable to tell them apart from real currency," NSW District Court Judge Ross Letherbarrow commented at the 2013 trial.

http://o.canada.com/business/polymer-money-counterfeit

From this article about Canadian fakes:

Canada’s new polymer bank notes may not be as secure as originally thought.

Counterfeit versions of the new polymer $100 bank note have been spotted in B.C.

"The fakes are “very well done,” said Sgt. Diana McDaniel of the New Westminster police. “It’s not obvious.”

I could go on and on :roll:

I even found a link to someone advertising to supply fake Canadian Polymer $100's :shock:

Counterfeit bills do not need to be perfect - they just need to be good enough to pass.

These counterfeits are real, they are good, and they will only get better as time goes on.
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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

Post by Allanswood »

The only one who said 'impossible to counterfeit' was yourself.

Anyone with a scanner and laser printer can copy a note, but I have never heard or seen one that has all the security features copied. Not even close. Try the micro printing for starters.

I've seen a few fakes over the years that have attempted to be used to pay for takeaway food, thinking the kids would have no idea. Except that it is standard to have a manager confirm the higher value note before accepting payment. And we were constantly advised of the latest forgeries floating around - pictures included.

And I've handled some shockers that really were a double sided photocopy. Even had one tried that was single sided! Did they think we would look at the other side?

But for a 'district judge' to say they fooled him is a little surprising as he obviously didn't confirm even the most basic security features of the note by simply holding it up to the light or feeling it.
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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

Post by David Benson »

I noticed that at my local KFC, they have a sign on the front door
All Banknotes will be checked for counterfeits,
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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

Post by Global Admin »

Currency has been faked for many THOUSANDS of years.

Banknotes have only been with us a few 100 years but have also been fakes from the onset.

I sold this note here this month for $A50.
Image
France 1795 Revolution 100 Franc Banknote Assignat $A50
Totally genuine, with embossed watermark in lower section - France 1795 Revolution 100 Franc Banknote Assignat.

I do not believe I have EVER owned paper money 222 years old. Capt Cook had just claimed Australia for Britain etc.

Condition pretty amazingly nice for 222 years old on fragile thin paper.

My appalling schoolboy French translated the wording on far left as -
"PUNISHABLE BY DEATH IF COUNTERFEITED"
Heavy penalties stops fakers. :idea:
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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

Post by gavin-h »

vikingeck wrote:Wow!

NI £100 work in Australia?

They would get very funny looks in the rest of the UK!

I have not seen any Scottish £100 or even Scottish £50 in general circulation even in Scotland. We do see bank of England £50s more often.
How to counterfeit banknotes in the UK:

Pick a low value - £10 or £20.

Pick one of the three Scottish banks issuing notes.

Design your own note incorporating the logo of one of those banks and featuring a famous Scottish landmark or Scottish person.

Circulate the notes in England, where they haven't a clue what a REAL Scottish note looks like.

If challenged with "I've never seen that design before", respond with "No, neither have I - it must be a new one!"

Don't push your luck, and move on quickly. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

Post by LouisDS »

aethelwulf wrote:
bazza4338 wrote:the federal government considers a proposal to permanently remove the $100 note from circulation
The Canadian government did pull the $1000 note a few years ago, "after studies indicated it was not widely used by the general public." :roll:
Let me add this about the 1000$ note in Canada: .... and almost exclusively used by the mob and/or for construction work paid under the table.
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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

Post by Raz »

Thanks to everyone for all that diverse information.

We all are interested in any types of forgeries, having "cut our teeth" on stamps.

Or Perfs! :roll:
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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

Post by Global Admin »

gavin-h wrote: How to counterfeit banknotes in the UK:

Pick a low value - £10 or £20.

Pick one of the three Scottish banks issuing notes.

Design your own note incorporating the logo of one of those banks and featuring a famous Scottish landmark or Scottish person.

Circulate the notes in England, where they haven't a clue what a REAL Scottish note looks like.

If challenged with "I've never seen that design before", respond with "No, neither have I - it must be a new one!"

Don't push your luck, and move on quickly. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
The next Scottish Monarch, King Sean I is of course on all the fivers up there. When they formally split from the UK after the next vote, The Pound currency will be renamed The Haggis I understand. (Sterling will then crash to 2 to the greenback, so buy Greenbacks NOW.)

As to the weird looking git on the current £20, have to agree with Gavin .... if that is legal tender, ANYTHING will pass!

Be are flying to Dublin and Edinburgh shortly, and I am working on some designs. Not being greedy, I will keep them to 20s and not 50s or 100s.

Passing Scottish twenties in Dublin might be a challenge though? Luckily, an hour up the motorway they have this little town called Belfast, where they WILL pass for Legal Tender. :idea:
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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

Post by vikingeck »

Global Administrator wrote:
gavin-h wrote:
As to the weird looking git on the current £20, have to agree with Gavin .... if that is legal tender, ANYTHING will pass!

Passing Scottish twenties in Dublin might be a challenge though? Luckily, an hour up the motorway they have this little town called Belfast, where they WILL pass for Legal Tender. :idea:


Image[/centre]

Strange as it seems none of the Scottish bank notes are actually " Legal Tender" even in Scotland . The wording is the "Bank promise to pay .......".

Strictly speaking they are no more than promissory notes, negotiable instruments or a legally accepted currency ! BUT IN LAW THEY ARE NOT LEGAL TENDER .

No one is obliged to accept them in settlement of a debt. Any one who accepts them is actually doing you a favour in the hope and expectation that he will be able to realise the Bank's "Promise", or exchange them for some Bank of England Legal tender !

( I must say it is many years since I have had a Scottish note refused in England, though an American dealer at Stampex did ask if I had Bank of England notes! :oops: )


Incidentally Glen, Alex Salmond at the last Referendum referred to getting a "Mandate from the Sovereign Scottish people for independent Currency" so any new notes will be known as "Mandates" (not "Haggis" which of course is a well known Highland delicacy ) , probably at 10 to the £1.
whatever it is -------it's better than a poke in eye with a wet umbrella !
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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

Post by gavin-h »

vikingeck wrote:Incidentally Glen, Alex Salmond at the last Referendum referred to getting a "Mandate from the Sovereign Scottish people for independent Currency" so any new notes will be known as "Mandates" (not "Haggis" which of course is a well known Highland delicacy ) , probably at 10 to the £1.
And at the same time, they'll issue a 6.4 Mandate stamp featuring a portrait of Nicola Sturgeon, but it will soon be withdrawn due to complaints that it won't stick to the envelope.

On further investigation, it will be discovered that the problem was due to people spitting on the wrong side. :mrgreen:
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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

Post by vikingeck »

Probably ! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

Post by Princestamps »

Interesting - Middle Eastern Syndicates - read Lebanese, if the force is anything to go by, probably straight out of Lakemba. Force - Australian cop show on TV here, not sure of the episodes are recent, probably 2008 for all we know.

The show tonight, had a Islamic mullah arrested and several Lebanese gangsters arrested for growing and selling dope and one of them owned an Islamic supplies shop that sold anti semitic material, hookah pipes and had Arabic texts and "Allah is great etc" painted around the walls of the run down 1920s building. Fortunately the Muslims here are not into Money counterfeiting just yet, although a Muslim ghetto is forming in Mt. Roskill Auckland, with mosques and shops with names like "Khoobsurat Collection" and Mosque supplies next to Kebaberies and cafes with hookah pipe smokers.

Counterfeiting is not such an issue here, usually its $20s as they are used the most, but it has stopped now due to new notes, but phasing in is so slow that even now 3/4 of all our money is the previous (1999 - 2014) series.

Usually its a crude colour photcopy and Chinese Triad type gangs are to blame. Money laundering is more serious, with millions washed through Skycity by Chinese gangsters, Triads and Co hong groups from Vietnam.

Thanks to eftpos, you hardly see much money on the streets here now. For those not in the know, eftpos is charging debit cards, and nearly every shop has an eftpos terminal.
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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

Post by bazza4338 »

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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

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Photo: Police believe the fake notes are training bank notes, which are used to train overseas bank tellers. (Supplied: ACT Policing)


I sell 10 sets of 3 of these for $A50 ... maybe I should up the price to Canberra residents, if they are thick enough to take these Training Note things as genuines down there!
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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

Post by OldDuffer1 »

vikingeck wrote:
Strange as it seems none of the Scottish bank notes are actually " Legal Tender" even in Scotland . The wording is the "Bank promise to pay .......".

Strictly speaking they are no more than promissory notes, negotiable instruments or a legally accepted currency ! BUT IN LAW THEY ARE NOT LEGAL TENDER .

No one is obliged to accept them in settlement of a debt. Any one who accepts them is actually doing you a favour in the hope and expectation that he will be able to realise the Bank's "Promise", or exchange them for some Bank of England Legal tender !

( I must say it is many years since I have had a Scottish note refused in England, though an American dealer at Stampex did ask if I had Bank of England notes! :oops: )
Although this is true of any currency, (i.e. a vendor can refuse payment), for every pound issued by a Scottish or Ulster Bank the equivalent amount must be deposited in Bank of England notes with them- they are therefore completely equivalent.

Apparently 1 Million and even 100 Million pound notes exist ( "Giants" and "Titans") but not in general circulation!

I once had a Scottish £1 note refused in Kings Cross Station- this was when £1 notes were still common in Scotland, (not so now), but not in England. This was particularly annoying as the gentleman concerned was, shall we say, not from these shores. :wink:
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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

Post by Machaggis52 »

Allanswood wrote:The only one who said 'impossible to counterfeit' was yourself.

Anyone with a scanner and laser printer can copy a note, but I have never heard or seen one that has all the security features copied. Not even close. Try the micro printing for starters.

I've seen a few fakes over the years that have attempted to be used to pay for takeaway food, thinking the kids would have no idea. Except that it is standard to have a manager confirm the higher value note before accepting payment. And we were constantly advised of the latest forgeries floating around - pictures included.

And I've handled some shockers that really were a double sided photocopy. Even had one tried that was single sided! Did they think we would look at the other side?

But for a 'district judge' to say they fooled him is a little surprising as he obviously didn't confirm even the most basic security features of the note by simply holding it up to the light or feeling it.
Actually, if you try and scan a banknote, your scanner is likely to refuse to do it.
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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

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Machaggis52 wrote:
Actually, if you try and scan a banknote, your scanner is likely to refuse to do it.
Agree. Mine does not - stops half way.
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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

Post by Machaggis52 »

vikingeck wrote:
Global Administrator wrote:
gavin-h wrote:
As to the weird looking git on the current £20, have to agree with Gavin .... if that is legal tender, ANYTHING will pass!

Passing Scottish twenties in Dublin might be a challenge though? Luckily, an hour up the motorway they have this little town called Belfast, where they WILL pass for Legal Tender. :idea:


Image[/centre]

Strange as it seems none of the Scottish bank notes are actually " Legal Tender" even in Scotland . The wording is the "Bank promise to pay .......".

Strictly speaking they are no more than promissory notes, negotiable instruments or a legally accepted currency ! BUT IN LAW THEY ARE NOT LEGAL TENDER .

No one is obliged to accept them in settlement of a debt. Any one who accepts them is actually doing you a favour in the hope and expectation that he will be able to realise the Bank's "Promise", or exchange them for some Bank of England Legal tender !

( I must say it is many years since I have had a Scottish note refused in England, though an American dealer at Stampex did ask if I had Bank of England notes! :oops: )


Incidentally Glen, Alex Salmond at the last Referendum referred to getting a "Mandate from the Sovereign Scottish people for independent Currency" so any new notes will be known as "Mandates" (not "Haggis" which of course is a well known Highland delicacy ) , probably at 10 to the £1.
When I still smoked, I bought my tobacco in Belgium, and paid in Scottish twenties with no problem at all.

The most bizarre of all was several decades back, paying for petrol in the Netherlands in Sterling, with the change given (at my request) in DM. :D
With kind regards, Jim
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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

Post by bazza4338 »

Counterfeiters are printing fewer notes but they are better quality

By business reporter Stephen Letts

Updated about 10 hours ago

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-22/counterfeiters-make-f ... a/10928584

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Your lobster ($20) might be off, or your pineapple ($50) rotten to the core — don't be surprised. There are plenty of counterfeit notes out there.

Key points:

Australia has comparatively high counterfeit rates for a smallish, largely domestically exchanged currency

Around 40pc of counterfeit notes are regarded as good to excellent quality fakes

While the rate of fakes has slipped in recent years, it is unlikely to be wiped out as forgers' technology catches up to the mint

The good news is there are fewer than there used to be.

The bad news is counterfeiters are getting better at their craft.

The Reserve Bank — responsible for production of the legitimate currency and charged with maintaining its integrity — said it typically receives around 30,000 counterfeits a year.

Counterfeiting by the numbers

Although this is small relative to the total amount of banknotes in circulation — around 1.6 billion — and the losses are modest compared to other forms of fraud, it is still significant.

The RBA points out receiving a counterfeit can have severe consequences for people with low incomes and businesses with small profit margins.

"The average retail business would need to sell around $2,200 worth of goods or services to recoup the loss sustained through a single $100 counterfeit banknote."

The RBA's latest survey of counterfeiting, published in its March Bulletin, found counterfeiting is on the decline, having peaked in 2015.

The RBA's forensic approach is to measure the number of counterfeits per million genuine banknotes in circulation as parts per million, or ppm.

"Counterfeiting in Australia rose steadily from the early 2000s, when the counterfeiting rate was around 5 to 10 ppm, until 2015, when the counterfeiting rate reached 26 ppm," it found.

It has since declined to an estimated 15 ppm in 2018, as police operations disrupted several large counterfeiting outfits.

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However, the RBA warned the fight is far from over.

"The declining cost and growing sophistication of technology will likely enable counterfeiters to more easily produce counterfeits on a larger scale than was the case previously, and the bank does not necessarily expect the counterfeiting rate to return to the low levels of the early 2000s."

Dud $100 notes are on the rise

The $50 note unsurprisingly is the most common counterfeit — given it is also the most commonly withdrawn denomination from an ATM and still has a relatively high value.

However, on a ppm basis, fake $100 notes have caught up to the $50s. The dud $100s generally are "good quality forgeries".

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"This may in part reflect advances in technology, which have enabled the production of counterfeits that will usually pass a cursory inspection," the RBA noted.

"Given that $100 banknotes are likely to be more closely inspected than other denominations when spent, counterfeiters are unlikely to produce and try to pass them unless they believe that the counterfeits have a good chance of fooling an unsuspecting retailer or member of the public."

Feel the quality

The switch to a polymer notes (or substrate as the RBA calls it) in the early 1990s may have made it trickier for the forgers, but it didn't put them out of business.

It took them five years to come up with the first forged polymer note. That was back in 1997, but it wasn't until 2010 that it became an industrial process.

The RBA keeps upgrading their notes and the top-level crooks keep upgrading their technology to keep pace. Anything less than a polymer counterfeit is amateur hour.

Counterfeiting coins is a bitsy high-cost/low-margin game that not even the dumbest crim would bother with.

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Small number of highly skilled operators

The quality of counterfeits is on the rise again. Around 40 per cent are considered good to excellent quality.

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The RBA suspects this is being driven by a small number of well organised operators.

However, the bank is pretty confident they haven't totally nailed it.

"It is worth noting that counterfeits that successfully replicate security features such as the microprint, shadow image, see-through register or intaglio [raised ink] print are rare, and members of the public can check these security features if they suspect a counterfeit," it suggested.

Middle of the pack

Depending on your perspective, Australia sits at the lower end of the big counterfeiting nations, or in the upper reaches of the middle-of-the-pack.

The United Kingdom has a much higher concentration of toxic notes at 140ppm, followed by Brazil — where it appears not every real is real — and Mexico.

New Zealand has a very pure currency, with counterfeiting rates of less than 1 ppm. Of course, there are plenty of Kiwi coins in circulation here, but that's an entirely different frustration.

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The United States is an unknown as the Federal Reserve doesn't publish any information on counterfeiting rates.

However, the RBA has its suspicions.

"The 'internationalness' of currencies also appears to be a contributing factor: on average, more widely used currencies — such as the US dollar, euro and British pound — have higher counterfeiting rates than other, less international, currencies," the RBA said.

"This may be because counterfeiters in neighbouring countries choose to counterfeit a more widely used foreign currency rather than the domestic one."

The broader crime rate across countries is another key factor, as well as how much cash is used in the general economy.

Dud dollars follow the population

The RBA found, on a per capita basis, Victoria and New South Wales have the highest counterfeiting rates, while Tasmania and the Northern Territory have low rates.

"This is largely related to where large counterfeiting operations choose to distribute the counterfeits," the RBA said.

A recent spike in Western Australia can be attributed to a large counterfeiting operation there, although this was shut down by police at the end of 2017.

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Short lifespan

The average forged note doesn't survive long in the wild.

Most are detected and destroyed within the first few months of release. They're pretty well all gone within two years.

In other words, the forgers flood their notes en masse into the economy, rather that use a drip-feed technique.

Most forgeries are detected by commercial banks and cash depots due to their bulk cash processing roles.

Over the past decade, police seizures have averaged 16 per cent of all counterfeit detections in Australia — usually raiding operators before the counterfeits are released.

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What to do if you get a dud note

The first thing to know if you get a dud note is that you've done your dough.

The RBA, or the commercial bank where it shows up, will not reimburse individuals or businesses for counterfeit banknotes, as doing so would act as an incentive to counterfeit.

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The RBA's advice if you get a suspicious note is simple:

Put it aside. Handle the suspected counterfeit banknote as little as possible, and store it in an envelope
Provide details. Try to remember as many details as possible about when, where and how you came into possession of the banknote
Report the incident to your local police or the Australian Federal Police

Remember, you are within your rights to refuse to accept a banknote you suspect is counterfeit. Knowingly passing a counterfeit banknote is a crime.

Penalties for counterfeiting can be severe, including fines of up to $75,000 and/or up to 14 years imprisonment for responsible individuals.
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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

Post by Allanswood »

Saw this in the Nine website today.... funny!


Fake cash picturing Steve Irwin and Ray Meagher stolen in Alice Springs

By Serena Seyfort
8:58am Oct 27, 2022


Northern Territory businesses are being warned to lookout for fake cash that has been stolen from a film production venue in Alice Springs.

Fake bank notes bearing portraits of wildlife expert Steve Irwin and actor Raymond Meagher, who plays Alf in television series Home and Away, were stolen from a property on Wilkinson Street in Alice Springs overnight on Monday, October 24,

The bank notes were being used for film and TV production.


Screenshot 2022-10-27 164536 fake irwin note.jpg


Detective Acting Senior Sergeant Robert Kent has said it is unknown how much of the money was stolen and how many people were involved in the theft.

"At this stage investigators are unsure of how much fake money was stolen but it may include $10, $20, $50 and $100 dollar bills," he said.

Police are warning businesses to beware of anyone trying to use the notes.

"Police would suggest maybe taking a quick glance at any bills received for the next few weeks to make sure you're getting the real thing," Detective Kent said.

Apart from the notes featuring pictures of Steven Irwin and Raymond Meagher in place of where Sir John Monash and Dame Nellie Melba are on real bank notes, the cash also says 'Straylia' in place of the word 'Australia'.

The pictures of the Australian Masked Owl and Native wattle on real bank notes have also been replaced by a mining haul truck on the fake notes, and the Shrine of Remembrance has been replaced with a picture of singer John Farnham.

Anyone with information about the theft is urged to contact 131 444 and quote 10154370.

Screenshot 2022-10-27 164611 ray fake note.jpg

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Re: Counterfeiters flood Melbourne with fake $100 notes

Post by Catweazle »

Nothing new though, really.

I worked retail in the CBD till about 2014, and there was a thing about counterfeit AUD$50 banknotes roaming at large too. Everyone I know who's ever worked the retail sector would say the same thing. Heard plenty of stories about forged credit cards too.

They make for great dinner conversations – like the time I chased a burglar down the street. :lol:
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