Counterfeit Money - What to Do?

I noticed that one of the fifty dollar notes in my wallet was a bit dodgy - plastic was too thin and didn't feel right, printing was blurry and smudged and it didn't have the watermark when I held it up against a light. Checked the note security signs on the RBA site and I'm definite it's a counterfeit note.

The internet says I should take it to the police but I was wondering if anyone's gone through the same thing before? I don't mind going through the reporting process but I want to be emotionally prepared for whether I'm down $50 or if they'll give me a real one back.

Related Stores

Reserve Bank of Australia
Reserve Bank of Australia


    • +4

      ultra stupid idea since the atm records all transactions, dont do this.
      Seriously just use it at a supermarket when its real busy, worst case scenario they hand it back to you and you play dumb. Best case it ends up in their cash system which funnels through eventually to a bank where they remove it and its a drop in the ocean for the supermarkets bottom line. Theres cameras at a supermarket but they only review it if an offense has occurred. Even conceal your face with a hat/glasses if you real paranoid.

      • +1

        That what i would do.

      • Wow, clearly you learn this in money laundering 101…

      • -1

        Feed it to the self checkout machine at woollies.

        It looks like the penalty is 12 years prison. Probably not worth it for $50.

        • Penalty for what?

        • @thedude23: "Uttering counterfeit money". I think that means spending it or otherwise passing it off as real money but I'm not sure.

    • +1

      Don't know why this comment is getting negged, that's exactly what I would do. Go to your bank's atm,deposit about $500 worth of $50 notes into your account, with the dodgy one amongst them. So what if there's cameras, it's obvious the op is not doing the counterfeiting so he has nothing to worry about. The bank will cover the loss from their multi billion dollar profits. I don't see why the op should wear the loss!

      • +3

        Bank staff are best pick up fake notes. donot do this.

      • +6

        lol, what a naive logic, bank will never lose, even a single cent, they'll confiscate that note and your deposit is down by $50.

      • Here's a tip I heard from a bank employee, NEVER deposit cash in an ATM, cheques only. Deposit cash over the counter only.

        • +1

          do you have any first hand experience? surely the bank procedures prevent the staff from taking your ATM deposits.

        • The new machines are different, they scan your money and deposit them in real time.

    • Those atms are freakily smart nowadays. I deposited $600 on the weekend and with it I put a slightly ripped $50 note i wanted to get rid of. It accepted all the notes except for the ripped $50 which it spat back at me. I was shocked that it knew.

      I would be surprised that it would accept a fake note.

  • +1

    buy drugs

    • And get shot/stabbed for being dodgy

      • If you get shot for being dodgy whilst buying drugs, wouldn't all druggies get shot when buying drugs?

  • The offence in Victoria for using counterfeit money is obtain property by deception. As well as a bunch of federal offences.
    Best thing to do is report it to police and try and remember where you picked the note up.
    I've seen a lot of fake notes and depending on how bad/good the note is and also how lazy/proactive the police officer is, the store that gave it to you should be charged with the relevant offences and you should be able to get your money back through the courts like that.

  • +11

    I would take it to your bank. Tell them you think it is fake and ask if they can swap it for legal tender.
    When my mum used to work at the bank then the staff earnt $100 for finding a fake and removing it from circulation.

    • +2

      I might try this instead, thanks! Police and other authority figures tend to make me nervous…

      • +1

        Nothing to be nervous about.. But just so you know, it's very unlikely the bank will give you the value of the note in exchange for it.. Since that could be seen as you trying to profit from a counterfeit bank note (even though you acquired it accidentally). The problem is the people who make these bank notes could just do that and then it's free money, so there's no way for the police to really distinguish if your intentions are genuine or not.

        I'd stick with the safe route and not try to get any value from the note, since it could be seen as fraud (even if you're honest about it being fake.. you never know how it could come and bite you in the arse).

        Good luck though :)

  • -1

    If you can remember where you got it from, you can tell the manager there that you paid for x and you received this note as change and you see it is fake. They should give you a real $50 and deal with the fake note as they gave it to you in the first place.

    • Most likely they will think you are trying to rip them off, and call the police.

      Which if you are a good talker could be a good thing.

  • +17

    Glue it to the sidewalk in whichever city center is closest and then make a youtube video of people trying to pick it up. Re-coup the $50 off the ad revenue when you hit 1m views :)

    • Best answer I've read so far.

  • Go brofil

  • It's a federal police issue, not a state police.

    There is a form on the afp website you can submit the serial number.

    I don't think it's a high priority for the afp, I have submitted 3 over that span of 5 years to the afp, all had the same serial number.

    • -1

      What about the CYBER POLICE ???

  • I'd seriously just spend it. You didn't notice anything.

  • -3

    Throw it away. Already lost $50 no point wasting your time going to the police about it if you aren't gonna get a real $50 back.

    • +3

      It helps the Police find the counterfeiters and get the notes out of circulation, which means discussions like this would never have to start. Worth it IMO.

  • +1

    make it rain

  • report it

  • +1

    I will keep it as a personal collection in the dairy.

  • Post a video about it then hand over to police to raise awareness. You lose $50 but help others

  • Actually, the banks (in coordination with RBA) and federal police (there is a special crime unit that deals with currency fraud) can help you. They will take down all the details and in some circumstances can refund you for the loss (but don't expect this as it will be a case by case thing).

  • +2

    Here's a legal way to get your money back: Put it in a picture frame, wright the backstory of how its fake and sell it as real art. Depending on how good you are as a sales man and art bulltalker you could make a nice profit best case scenario buyers would be an art university or museums about money.

  • Here is the real lesson from the information provided here.

    If you did not check that the money is counterfeit in the at the point of receipt. Don't bother checking any further.

  • i have several iraqi bank notes, that have the same serial number on every note along with saddams head….are these real?

    • The heads are definitely real.

  • Just takeit to 711 and spend it on fuel. They wouldnt knkw a fake from a good note. Problem solved. If your questioned about it ever say you didnt recognize it as a fake. Last time I checked there was no requirement for the general public to be ableto identify forgery notes. Where wouldyou draw the line???

  • -1

    Use at a bar on Fri or Sat, they're always in hurry. Alternatively, find a check with a kid working and no cams.

  • +2

    Photo of the note with as little glare as I could manage. I think I definitely would not have taken the note myself as it looks and feels really fake to me but I can see how someone would accept it in a rush. Hope this saves someone else from getting ripped off though!

    Printing is blurry, colours are off, plastic is different (you can see where the edges have warped) and a bit of the black ink is actually peeling off near the mouth showing yellow underneath. If you look really closely you can also see a faint white emu shape where the watermark is supposed to be. There is clear plastic around the edges and corners where the ink has worn off. It's also about 1 millimetre longer and wider than a real $50 note.

    • What serial number is on the other side? Is this a 95 series note?

  • If you live in Sydney, I suggest going down to your local Opal recharge point and jamming that note in (I think they accept them). The Government is robbing you blind on train fares, so return the favour! Make sure you write "THIS IS NOT REAL MONEY" on it so they can't pass it off.

    Of course I don't really recommend this.

  • +2

    I actually recommend going into a police station and burning it in front of the highest ranking official. When they go to arrest you for destroying legal tender just say "Relax bruh! It was just really good counterfeit money!". Everyone will ROFL and high fives will be exchanged. You will not be arrested for destroying evidence of counterfeit notes at all.

    Of course I don't really recommend this.

  • -1

    Yesterday I saw an Asian supermarket put a notice in front of the shop,says something like "People using fake $50 note will be taken to the police."I immediately related it to this topic.Maybe OP already used it there.

    Of course I don't really recommend this.

    • +2

      Ah cool I can use my fake $20s then. Thanks for the heads up :)

  • Could you use it at one of those car wash coin dispensing machines and get $50 in gold coins? Presumably the note wouldn't be discovered for some time.

  • +1

    Go and spend it at Dick Smith

  • Unfortunately you already lost it as soon as you accepted it. Trying to unlose your money by passing on the fake is no better than stealing. Take it to the cops if you can be bothered or destroy it. I'm very sorry for your loss.

  • Take it to the bank. 99.99999% sure they won't exchange it, but they will send it off to be tested and if it's real you'll get it back.
    If it's fake, the honest thing to do is accept it's gone.

Login or Join to leave a comment