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Counterfeit cheques and money

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As our lives become increasingly digitised, the use of cheques and cash is declining, but counterfeiting is still a very real issue. In fact, seeing cash and cheques less frequently can mean that we are less familiar with what to look for when it comes to counterfeit transactions.

Counterfeit cash

Australia has one of the lowest rates of counterfeit money in the world thanks to the sophisticated anti-fraud measures in our banknotes. If you have concerns about whether a banknote is real, you have the right to refuse to accept it. If you suspect that a banknote may be counterfeit, you can check it by:

  • Comparing to a note that you are sure is real.
  • Scrunching the banknote up – the plastic polymer means that the banknote should return back to its original shape.
  • Checking the clear window – this should run from the top of the note all the way to the bottom.
  • Look for the flying bird in the top-to-bottom window – it should move its wings and change colour when you tilt the banknote.

If you think that you may have received a counterfeit banknote, you should:

  • Handle the suspect banknote as little as possible and store it in an envelope.
  • Note any relevant information, such as how it came into your possession.
  • Report it immediately to State or Federal police.

Cheque fraud

If you are using cheques, it’s important to ensure that you fill out the details of the cheque completely, to ensure that fraudsters can’t cash it themselves or edit the amount.

  • Always write the name of the organisation or individual you are paying in full.
  • Always draw a horizontal line after the payment amount to prevent anyone from changing the payable amount.
  • Never leave a space between any written figures to ensure that the figures can’t be changed.
  • Only write in pen – never pencil.
  • Ensure "not negotiable" is printed or written across the cheque.

If you’re receiving a cheque, in many cases a fraudulent cheque can be detected by its appearance. Here’s what to look for:

  • Inconsistencies in the design – font types and sizes, straight lines and consistent gaps.
  • Smudged ink.
  • Poor quality paper.
  • Poor quality colour printing.

If you have been targeted by a scam relating to your Qudos account, visit our webpage Reporting Scams to find out who to contact.

  Disclaimer:

Qudos Mutual Limited trading as Qudos Bank ABN 53 087 650 557 AFSL/Australian Credit Licence 238 305. The information in this article is of a general nature and has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the information, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances.