Counterfeiting of currency worldwide by organised crime groups or individuals has the potential to undermine public confidence in the currency and impact heavily on governments, business and individuals alike.
All State, Territory and Federal police are authorised under the Crimes (Currency) Act 1981 to seize and prosecute currency related matters. The legislation covers domestic and foreign currencies (including US dollars and Euros).
AFP Currency Team
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) have entered into a working agreement for the administration of counterfeit currency. All currency related matters are coordinated and administered from a central location by the AFP with administrative support provided by the RBA.
How to identify a counterfeit banknote
The RBA has responsibility for the production and issue, reissue and cancellation of Australia's banknotes. A full description of banknotes and their security features, together with a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ), including advice on reproduction of banknote images, can be found by accessing the 'Banknotes' tab on the RBA Homepage.
How to identify a counterfeit coin
The Australian Mint (RAM) is a prescribed agency within the Commonwealth portfolio of the Treasurer and is the sole supplier of Australia's circulating coinage. Information relating to coins, policies and guidelines (including the RAM's Damaged Coin Policy) together with a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) can be found on the RAM Homepage.
What to do if you receive a suspected counterfeit
If you are in possession of suspected counterfeit banknotes, counterfeit coins or counterfeit prescribed securities you should contact your local police or the Australian Federal Police in your state/territory. You should also complete a Suspect counterfeit banknote form detailing the circumstances of how you came into possession of the counterfeit to assist police.
If there is no police involvement you should send the suspected counterfeit, together with a completed Suspect counterfeit banknote form via registered mail to the AFP Currency Team postal address. A property receipt will be forwarded to you acknowledging receipt of the property.
Evidentiary (Statement required)
The Treasurer, by instrument in writing, has appointed appropriately qualified RBA personnel to be examiners of counterfeit foreign paper money under the Crimes (Currency) Act 1981.
Law enforcement agencies requiring expert witness statements for court should contact the Australian Federal Police. As part of the process you will be requested to complete a Suspect counterfeit banknote form.
Forfeiture and Seizure
Following a successful prosecution and where the court is satisfied that any article is forfeited under the S.29 Crimes (Currency) Act 1981 a condemnation order should be sought for the disposal of the property. The property, together with a copy of the order, should then be sent to the AFP Currency team who will coordinate the disposal of the property in accordance with the directions of the Treasurer.
Suspected counterfeit currency not subject of a criminal prosecution should be sent, together with a completed Suspect counterfeit banknote form, via registered mail to the AFP Currency Team postal address. A property receipt will be forwarded to your property office once the property is received.
Counterfeiting of traveller's cheques is not a Commonwealth offence. Anyone in possession of suspected counterfeit traveller's cheques should contact their local state/territory police or return them to the relevant Issuing Authority.
American Express traveller's cheques
Claims Review Unit
GPO Box: 1582
Sydney NSW 1131
All other traveller's cheques
Senior Manager Global Operations
International Traveller's Cheques
1 Sheldon Square
Suspected counterfeit currency deemed genuine
Suspected counterfeit currency deemed genuine after examination by RBA counterfeit examiners will be returned to the owner.
Suspect counterfeit banknote form
Download the Suspect counterfeit banknote form (PDF, 500KB)
The RBA can assist law enforcement agencies in preparing counterfeit currency-related media releases. They can be contacted on 1800 633 220 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Postal address (for suspected counterfeit currency only)
Australian Federal Police
Locked Bag 4817
Somerton , VIC 3062