Watch out for counterfeit money

Tayside Police are again warning retailers, businesses and members of the public to be on their guard against the use of counterfeit money.

The force has received numerous reports from shop keepers and retail staff, notably from the Angus and Perth areas, with regard to counterfeit cash – in £20, £10 and £5 denominations being offered as legal tender.

Counterfeit Clydesdale and Royal Bank of Scotland notes – of relatively poor quality – have been recovered.

People should be vigilant over bank notes they are offered or receive as legal tender and contact the police if they are handed a note they suspect to be counterfeit.

Many shops have devices that assist in the checking of counterfeit currency. There are also a number of simple checks that can go some way to verifying a genuine bank note.

Points to consider include:-

Paper - Genuine notes are printed on a fine cotton weave which has a very different feel from ordinary paper.

Watermark - To check the watermark hold the paper up to the light. Real notes will have the watermark in the paper. Counterfeiters will print the watermark on to the paper.

Clarity of printing - Under close scrutiny the detail of fake notes may look messy and lack the detail that can be seen in real notes.

Quality of printing - Real notes are printed on “intaglio” presses which raise the ink off the paper and give it a unique textured feel. If the printing on your note is flat, it could be a fake.

Metal thread - Sometimes counterfeiters try to “hot foil” a strip onto the note - but on any real note this should run through the paper.

Hologram - Real notes will have a high quality hologram, but counterfeiters try to get round this by printing an ultra fine foil on to the note.

Serial numbers - Genuine notes have individual serial numbers. But forgers will often not bother - so if two or more of your notes have the same numbers then they’re fake.

It may be prudent, especially for small businesses without the huge turnover of larger ones, to try and check all notes with a detector pen or better still a counter top detector.

Compare the note tendered with a genuine note.

Anyone who can assist police with enquiries should contact 0300 111 2222. Alternatively they can pass information anonymously via the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.