Joe Mahon, co-owner of Reids Bootmakers in East Victoria Park, recently had a customer attempt to use a $50 note he believed was fake.
‘When the guy came in, I had two other customers trying on shoes and he seemed in a bit of a hurry. He was looking at the prices on everything and then selected a pair of insoles,’ he said.
‘He had chosen size 10 and was only short and I could see he was not a size 10, so I asked him if he was sure they were the right size. He handed me the $50 and I noticed immediately it did not feel quite right.
‘The colour looked a little odd and the clear window in the note also did not look right, so I tried to tear it and sure enough it tore quite easily confirming to me that it was fake.’
He said he had never had a fake note in his store before, but had spent 10 years running pubs and night clubs in London in the ’90s when fake notes were a big problem so he was always on the lookout.
He said he told the customer he could not accept it as he didn’t think it was genuine. The customer exclaimed he had got it from another store nearby and hurried out of the store when Mr Mahon asked him further questions.
‘During the entire interaction he did not strike me as genuine and never made eye contact with me once, keeping his head down the whole time,’ he said.
‘We immediately put it out on Facebook and Twitter to alert the other businesses in Victoria Park and my wife went around the surrounding shops to tell them to be on the lookout for fake notes.’
Kensington Acting Senior- Sergeant Gavin Kerber said fake notes do come through from time to time, usually like a wave effect.
‘Someone decides it’s a good idea to give it a try, try it a couple of times, then get caught, leaving a few notes in circulation until they are discovered and removed.
‘Businesses that handle cash all the time are quite adept at determining a fake note from a real one, normally just in the feel of the paper and a slight variance in the colour or size.
‘The bulk of them go directly from banks to the Federal Police who deal with all fake notes and are responsible for conducting investigations into them,’ he said.