AN increased number of counterfeit notes is doing the rounds on the Fraser Coast.
There have been about 12 fake notes making their way to businesses across our police region which includes Bundaberg and Gympie in the past six months.
Six cases have been within the past two months.
Senior Constable Melanie Ryan, the Maryborough Patrol Group Crime Prevention Coordinator, said the majority were found in Hervey Bay.
One of the most recent cases involved two women using four counterfeit notes to fraudulently buy $179.70 worth of groceries and collecting $20.30 in change.
The unknown suspects then left the shopping centre on Main St.
The woman pictured in grey is believed to have presented the notes on September 1.
Staff found the fraudulent money when they reconciled the till at the end of the day.
Snr Const Ryan said it was vital business owners were extra vigilant when given notes, particularly $50 and $100 denominations.
"If you believe it's not a legal tender you have the right not to accept the note," Snr Const Ryan said.
"If it is counterfeit, try not to handle it too much because we may be able to obtain forensic information like fingerprints," she said.
It's not just staff at large supermarkets who need to be wary.
Snr Const Ryan said traders at markets or smaller businesses where a lot of cash changes hands should be on the lookout.
"An indication it's counterfeit can be the thickness, these notes are usually thicker," she said.
"It's important people take a second look at notes they're receiving."
UNSURE HOW TO RECOGNISE A COUNTERFEIT NOTE?
Visit the Reserve Band of Australia website to find out more.