Retailers and businesses are much busier than normal over the Christmas period and often employ temporary staff, so there is an increased risk of counterfeit banknotes being passed. To help protect your business, the Bank of England is reminding you to ensure all banknotes being passed in transactions are checked and to ensure all staff know what to do if they suspect a banknote is counterfeit.
What features should I check?
There are steps you can take to protect yourself and your customers. Manual checks can quickly and easily be made using the security features on banknotes whenever notes are being passed in a transaction. Don’t rely on checking just one security feature, but check a few such as:
- The feel of the paper and the raised print
- The watermark
- The holograms
- The metallic thread
- The motion thread on the £50 note
If you have any doubts, compare a suspect note to one that you know is genuine.
Do you have any materials to help me?
The Bank of England provides free of charge, a range of educational materials, including a Banknote App, booklet, posters, DVD, computer based training course (CD-ROM) and deterrent stickers, showing you how to check that banknotes are genuine. Details are available on our website www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes
What should I do if I think I have a counterfeit?
Once a counterfeit note is suspected or discovered it is your responsibility to notify the police. This is because it is a criminal offence to knowingly hold or pass on a note that you know or suspect to be counterfeit (the Forgery & Counterfeit Act 1981 is the relevant legislation). Counterfeits are rare – let’s work together to keep it that way.