The offenders have been going into shops and supermarkets, buying a small item using a large denomination note and then taking the legitimate cash as change.
Senior sergeant of the Wellington district command centre, Simon King, says retailers should be vigilant and watch out for counterfeit notes, especially over Easter weekend.
He says if retailers are suspicious about the cash being used in their shops, they should take the follow steps: consider refusing to accept the note, take down a description of the person offering it, record the number plate and description of the vehicle used by the person, and then call the police.
He also notes retailers should consider their own safety before dealing with people.
Further information about identifying counterfeit notes can be found on the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s website here.
Tips include checking out the windows, which is the see-through part to the note, make sure there’s not any blotches, as the legitimate polymer notes are waterproof and even try to tear the note, as counterfeits tend to be paper, not tough polymer.