Retailer warns businesses over fake bank note

A Greymouth retailer has warned other businesses to be alert after someone tried to pass over a counterfeit $50 note yesterday.

Stirling Sports owner Tony Russell said yesterday morning a young woman attempted to pass off the odd looking note while purchasing a pair of basketball boots.

Mr Russell said as soon as he saw it he realised it was "not quite right".

"I said to the young woman this does not look right and she smartly whipped it out of my hand, saying she had just sold her cellphone and that was what the person gave her."

He got straight on the phone to alert other business owners and was told the same person had been in Hannah's shoe shop across the road, also looking at boots, but told staff there she was waiting for Stirling Sports to open.

"When I questioned her about the money she was pretty quick to take it back and told me she was going to go back to the person who gave it to her."

Mr Russell said there were a couple of things unusual about the $50 note, including the hologram on the right-hand side of the note which has silver ferns, a map of New Zealand was not as shiny as on a real note, and it was thicker than normal.

He passed on details to the police and offered a security camera image of the woman, but police declined that.

Mr Russell said he had not seen the woman before. He described her as quite young, with longish hair and wearing a black puffer jacket with black trousers.

Counterfeit $50 banknotes were circulated in Christchurch during May, and at the time the Reserve Bank head of banking Steve Gordon advised anyone who was presented with a fake note to decline it, contact police and hold on to any security footage.

The Reserve Bank has a guide to spotting counterfeit notes on its website.

- by Viv Logie 

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