RYDE Local Area Command police are investigating a counterfeit $50 note scam.

The scam has seen a number of $50 notes passed in Eastwood and the police investigation aims to find out who is behind it, where the counterfeit notes come from and who is circulating them.

Police Sergeant Jerrod Luck urged the community to be vigilant and to assist the investigation.

“If they have a suspicion they have a counterfeit note they should contact us,” he said.

“We will return $50 notes that are not counterfeit.”

It is an offence to knowingly possess counterfeit banknotes.

The Reserve Bank of Australia recently created a website – https://banknotes.rba.gov.au/assets/pdf/counterfeitdetection-guide.pdf – to help detect a counterfeit note.

The website advises people to handle a suspect banknote as little as possible and store it in an envelope to be handed to police.

“Note any relevant information, such as how it came into your possession,” the website advises.

“You are well within your rights to refuse to accept a banknote if you have concerns about it and under no circumstances should you take actions that may jeopardise your safety or that of others.”

Genuine banknotes are printed on plastic and have a distinct feel.

A suspect banknote may feel excessively thick or thin compared to a genuine banknote.

“It is difficult to start a tear along the edge of a genuine banknote and you can also try scrunching the banknote in your hand because a genuine banknote should spring back,” the website says.

“If you hold the banknote to the light, you should see the Australian Coat of Arms.

“Diamond-shaped patterns are printed inside a circle on both sides of the banknote.

“If you hold the banknote up to the light, the patterns should line up perfectly to form a seven- pointed star.”

The website advises to check the note’s clear window.

“The clear window should be an integral part of the banknote and not an addition,” it says.

“Check that the white image printed on the window cannot be easily rubbed off.

“Also look for the embossing because there is a wave pattern in the window of the $10 banknote, and the value of the banknote in the windows of $20, $50 and $100 banknotes.”

Further checks can be made on the printing on a bank note.

“Feel the dark printing which is produced with a special raised ink that can be felt with your finger,” the guide says.

“Check the print quality because the background printing should be sharp.

“Check for irregularities such as less clearly defined patterns, thicker or thinner lines, or colour differences.”

People can also check for microprinting “under a magnifying glass you will see tiny, clearly defined words on the top left corner of the $5 banknote and near the portraits on the other banknotes.”

Ultra Violent light will also expose a fake.

“Most of the banknote should not fluoresce,” the website says.

“The exceptions are the serial numbers, a patch on the $5 banknote and a patch on the $20, $50 and $100 banknotes that also shows the value.”