POLICE are warning businesses to be on their guard after a number of forged £20 notes were reported being used in south Worcestershire.
Officers are urging traders and shoppers to be vigilant.
People should check notes before accepting them and if they believe they have been passed a fake note they should keep hold of it, if possible, and contact the police.
Traders should use whatever devices are at their disposal, such as ultraviolet light scanners, to ensure the authenticity of £20 Bank of England notes and to closely check the security features on them.
Checks that people can make with Bank of England notes include:
1) The watermark; in addition to the Queen’s portrait there should be a £20 or £50 symbol on higher value notes, which should contrast with the Queen’s head.
2) Check the metallic thread that is embedded in every English banknote
3) Ensure there is raised printing, in particular the words ‘Bank of England’ across the top of the note
4) All notes have a holographic foil image, which will change colour and image when you tilt it
5) All notes also have an image of its value that will only appear under ultraviolet light
6) The texture of a counterfeit note will often feel different from a genuine one.
Banknotes from Scotland and Northern Ireland have very similar security features and much of this advice is applicable to them.
Anyone with information for the police investigation should contact West Mercia Police on the non-emergency number 101.
Information can also be given anonymously to the Independent Charity, Crimestoppers, by calling 0800 555 111 or by visiting their website: www.crimestoppers-uk.org