Scan­ners main tool to find the scam­mers

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS - BRENDEN HILLS

THERE are 686 mil­lion gen­uine $50 notes in cir­cu­la­tion around Aus­tralia, so how does the Re­serve Bank of Aus­tralia find the fake ones?

It’s a col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort be­tween banks, cash-in-tran­sit com­pa­nies (ar­moured cars), shops, the po­lice and the pub­lic to find very small nee­dles in a very large haystack.

The de­tails of how the RBA re­cov­ered about $850,000 in fake fifties in the case of Ben­jamin Gil­lette-Roth­schild can­not be re­vealed be­cause of a sup­pres­sion or­der im­posed by the Syd­ney Dis­trict Court. When coun­ter­feit money goes into cir­cu­la­tion, the RBA has no track­ing de­vice that can pin­point its lo­ca­tion.

In most cases it has to wait un­til the fake notes are re­ported. The most ef­fec­tive method for large-scale de­tec­tion is through the banks, which have state-of-the-art tech­nol­ogy that de­tects even the tini­est of ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in each note.

The RBA’s coun­ter­feit anal­y­sis team will swing into ac­tion, look­ing for pat­terns to es­tab­lish if the notes are from one maker or many.

The Aus­tralian Fed­eral Po­lice will be­come in­volved if there is ev­i­dence or sus­pi­cion of large-scale pro­duc­tion and if there is an or­gan­ised crime link.

The RBA also keeps a col­lec­tion of coun­ter­feit and real ban­knotes that can be lent to the man­u­fac­tur­ers of scan­ning and val­i­da­tion ma­chin­ery to test if their equip­ment can tell the dif­fer­ence be­tween real and coun­ter­feit ban­knotes.

The scan­ning tech­nol­ogy is used in a wide range of de­vices, in­clud­ing poker ma­chines, ATMs, vend­ing ma­chines and ma­chines used by banks.

The coun­ter­feit notes are kept at the RBA’s Coun­ter­feit Ex­am­i­na­tion Lab­o­ra­tory in Vic­to­ria.

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