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Counterfeit notes warning

Police in Dorchester are warning members of the public to be vigilant after counterfeit money was used in shops in the town.

It comes after counterfeit £20 notes used in shops in the area were reported to police.

PC Sean Cannon, of Dorchester Police, said: “I’d urge people to be vigilant and if you suspect you have been passed counterfeit money then contact police immediately.

“There are a few ways you can spot whether a note is fake, but do check more than just one feature.

“If anyone has any information about the circulation of fake notes, please contact police on 101 or the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111.”

Police are issuing the following advice to spot a fake note:

  1. Check the paper and the raised print – bank notes are printed on special paper that gives them their unique feel. By running your finger across the note, you can feel raised print in areas such as the words ‘Bank of England’ on the front
  2. Check the metallic thread – the metallic thread, which appears as silver dashes on notes, should appear as a continuous dark line when the note is held to the light
  3. Check the watermark – hold the note up to the light and you will see an image of the Queen’s portrait
  4. Check the print quality – the printed lines and colours on bank notes are sharp, clear and free from smudges or blurred edges
  5. Check the hologram – 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
  6. Check with ultra-violet light – If you put the note under a good quality ultra-violent light, its value appears in bright red and green numbers while the background is dull in contrast
  7. Check the microlettering – 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 numbers
  8. Check serial numbers – they should be the same on the front and rear of a note and they are unique. No serial number is repeated on another note


Issued: 30 July 2013