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Counterfeit Banknotes

Written by on 6th June 2016

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.

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