Business owners and employees are urged to be vigilant after counterfeit Bank of England and Bank of Scotland £20 notes were used in shops in Maghera and Cookstown.
Police said: “It’s important that staff have the right tools and knowledge to detect fake notes in order to protect your business.
If the customer is unwilling to wait until police arrive, give them a receipt obtaining their name and address and explain that suspect notes subsequently discovered to be genuine will be returnedPSNI
“There are a number of things to look out for but if you are unsure here are a few simple tips - detector pens and ultra-violet lights can be used to check Banknotes but don’t totally rely on them.
“Be careful not to use the pen on ordinary paper as this will lower its effectiveness and may lead to a genuine note being marked as fake.”
If you discover a possible fake note, police advise that you check the following:
· Feel – Most notes are embossed usually the writing or the logo. The note should feel crisp not limp, waxy or shiny. Security paper and special printing processes give banknotes a unique ‘feel’.
· Look – at the print - the lines should be sharp and well defined with no blurred edges. The colours should be clear and distinct with no hazy fringes.
· Tilt - Hold the note to the light. Check for the Watermark image and security thread. The Watermark should be hardly apparent until the note is held up to the light. The security thread will appear continuous when held up to the light. Check for hologram features on some of the notes.
· UV Light – under UV light barcodes are visible
· Compare – both sides of a suspect note to one you know is genuine. Any discrepancies become more easily apparent.
· Serial Number – If handed more than one suspect note, check the serial numbers are not the same.
For all bank notes, do not rely on just one feature to assess whether a note is genuine, check a few. If you get a suspect note you should:
· Retain the note without putting the staff at risk
· Contact the police
· If the customer is unwilling to wait until police arrive, give them a receipt obtaining their name and address and explain that suspect notes subsequently discovered to be genuine will be returned.