RUMOURS about counterfeit money have sparked alarm among Colac and district shoppers and businesses.
But police say they have received no confirmation of counterfeit money circulating in Colac despite a spate of rumours of fake $50 notes surfacing across the city.
At least three Colac and district businesses have reported the possible fakes and people have anonymously reported withdrawing suspected counterfeits from a Colac automatic teller machine.
The $50 note suspicions have reportedly stemmed from the absence of names printed below the portraits of David Unaipon and Edith Cowan as well as inconsistent colouring and patterns.
Camperdown 24-hour Roadhouse manager Ricky Frost said an employee took precautionary measures when a customer from Colac presented a suspect note on Wednesday night.
“One of the employees heard reports of counterfeit notes circulating in the area and was alert to the situation,” Mr Frost said.
“The employee pointed out how they thought to detect it and just decided to take precautionary measures,” he said.
“The matter was reported to police and we’re still awaiting confirmation.”
The Reserve Bank of Australia’s website outlines that a printing change nine years ago could explain the reports.
The RBA started printing names on $50 notes in 2003 and notes still circulating from before that would not have the name below the portrait.
“The presence or absence of a printed name is not a determining factor when assessing whether a banknote is genuine,” the website states.
An RBA spokesman said the presence or absence of names on banknotes was not a determining factor of counterfeiting, but it was a common misunderstanding.
“These sorts of stories have come up from time to time but the difficulty is if they are or aren’t counterfeit, they can still have or not have this printed name issue,” the spokesman said.
“This is a good opportunity for the public to be informed about counterfeit notes,” he said.
“If there are cases we want it identified and reported to police but we also don’t want people to be unnecessarily alarmed.”
Detective Stuart Sims of Colac Criminal Investigation Unit said Colac police hadn’t received any confirmed reports of counterfeit $50 notes circulating in the city.
“There was one brought into the police station and it turned out to be legitimate,” Det Sims said.
“People shouldn’t be stressing at this stage – but they should call us straight away if they think something is not right,” he said.