The GH Hotel in St Kilda and sex-on-premises venue Wet on Wellington in Collingwood both received counterfeit notes during busy periods. One note was used at the GH Hotel over the weekend of 4–5 October, while another appeared at Wet on Wellington the following weekend, 12–13 October.
General manager of both venues Shane Gardner told the Star Observer after the counterfeits appeared he had been on the lookout for more when a customer at Wet on Wellington tried to exchange a third note.
“I walk out to show my staff just how genuine these things look, and the very next customer who walks in pulls a hundred dollar note out of his wallet and of course he scrunches it and it’s just paper. I couldn’t believe it,” said Gardner, explaining the customer was just as surprised after receiving the note elsewhere.
Gardner reported the counterfeits to local police, who didn’t indicate whether they had seen other similar counterfeit notes appearing in Melbourne.
“I’d just suggest people be vigilant,” Gardner warned business owners, suspecting gay venues may have been targeted specifically.
Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) reports indicate levels of counterfeiting in Australia are currently very low.