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Counterfeit Banknotes

Police Community Support Officers are popping into as many businesses as possible in the next week or so, providing information about counterfeit banknotes.

It’s understood that there are a number of counterfeit £20 banknotes in circulation.

Here’s Julian Barwood from South Wales Police

Here are ways to detect these counterfeit notes and what to do if you come across one.

Raised print – Running your finger across the front of the note you should feel raised print across the words “Bank of England”.

Watermark – Hold the note up to the light and you will see an image of the Queen’s portrait.

Holograms – There is a hologram on the foil patch. If you tilt the note, the image will change between a brightly coloured picture of Britannia and the numerical value of the note.

Metallic thread – This appears as silver dashes on the back of £20 notes. If you hold the note up to the light, the metallic thread appears as a continuous dark line.

Ultra-violet lighting – If you put the note under a good quality ultra-violet light, its value appears in bright red and green numbers while the background is dull in contrast.

Micro lettering – Using a magnifying glass, look closely at the lettering beneath the Queen’s portrait – you will see the value of the note written in small letters and numerals.


What to do if you get a counterfeit banknote?

Retain the suspect note without putting yourself or staff at risk

Give the customer a receipt, explaining that the note will be handed to the police.

Call the police and hand them the counterfeit note; or take it to a police station later if requested by them.