Help to spot fake notes during Xmas rush

UK convenience retailers and newsagents have been issued advice to help spot fake banknotes during the Christmas rush.

Retailers and businesses are much busier than normal over the festive period, and often employ temporary staff, increasing the risk of accidently accepting counterfeit cash.

To help protect businesses, the Bank of England is encouraging all retailers to ensure all banknotes they receive are checked and all staff know what to do if they suspect a counterfeit.

The Bank of England said fake notes were relatively rare. In the first half of this year, around 152,000 counterfeit notes were removed from circulation, compared to some three billion genuine notes in the system.

“But counterfeit notes are worthless,” the bank said. “Failing to spot one could cost a business money and if it is accidentally passed on, potentially damage a retailer’s reputation.”

The bank said there are steps to protect yourself and customers.

“Manual checks can quickly and easily be made using the security features on banknotes whenever notes are being passed in a transaction,” it said. “Don’t rely on checking just one security feature.”

Other checks to make include:

  • The feel of the paper and the raised print
  • The watermark
  • The holograms
  • The metallic thread

The Bank of England provides a range of free of charge training materials; including a booklet, posters, Banknote app, e‐learning training course and deterrent stickers. The Bank has also produced short explanatory films.

Once a counterfeit note is suspected or discovered it is your responsibility to notify the police. This is because it is a criminal offence to knowingly hold or pass on a note that you know or suspect to be counterfeit.

For more information, visit the Bank of England website.

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