POLICE have warned retailers about fake money after a Ballan service station was ripped off $100.
A woman produced two counterfeit $50 notes at the BP Road House in Ballan yesterday morning.
Ballan Leading Senior Constable Ken Birch said the fake notes were handed over along with a genuine $50 note, and were accepted by the staff member.
He said the counterfeit notes looked real at first glance.
"They were fractionally smaller in width by about two or three millimetres and they both had the same serial number," Leading Senior Constable Birch said.
"But they had a very similar feel and have the plastic insert which looks like it has been pasted on, but the resemblance is very good at a quick glance."
Police warned retail staff to take extra care when taking money.
"Definitely check the notes you are getting from customers, particularly if they are in a busy area or the person is acting suspiciously," Leading Senior Constable Birch said.
"(In this case) there were a few minor things that could have been picked up on."
Police will review CCTV footage of the incident.
This comes after at least a dozen Ballarat business fell victim to counterfeit bank notes circulating in the city, with losses totalling more than $2500.
In March alone, Ballarat police received about 20 fake $100 notes and 15 fake $50 notes brought in by staff from fast-food outlets, supermarkets and liquor stores.
Anyone who has received fake notes or with information about counterfeit money should contact the Ballarat Crime Investigation Unit on 5336 6080 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.