Police have received a number of reports in recent days of counterfeit bank notes being used at retailers around the North Island.
The notes have been $20, $50 and $100 denominations. Typically the offenders have gone into shops and supermarkets, purchased a small item using a large denomination note and then received legitimate cash as change.
Senior Sergeant Simon King of the Wellington District Command Centre says that retailers should be alert to this practice, especially over the busy Easter weekend.
For information to help identify counterfeit notes, people can go to the Reserve Bank of New Zealand website and look under "notes and coins" where they will find information on how to spot a counterfeit (www.rbnz.govt.nz).
Senior Sergeant King says if retailers are suspicious about cash being used in their shops, they should take the following action: Consider refusing to accept the note, record the description of the person offering it, record the number plate and description of any vehicles used by the person, call Police on either their local number or 111, preferably while the person is still in or near the shop.
Retailers should also consider their own safety first when dealing with such people.