Counterfeit money has been around for decades, but are you doing enough to ensure the money you receive is legitimate? Although there were 2,500 prosecutions in the UK for passing forged notes last year and £11.5m was seized, one banknote in a hundred is forged, and numbers are on the increase. It is estimated that £100m worth of fake notes are now in circulation.

What will happen if I receive a counterfeit note?

The bad news for anyone who finds they are unknowingly holding a counterfeit note is that the note is unfortunately worthless. If you innocently accept a forged note, there is no way of getting it replaced with a genuine one. The only time you will ever be reimbursed is, for example – You use a note to pay for your shopping and the till assistant suspects it’s a fake. They are then legally obliged to confiscate the note and hand it over to the local authorities, you’re then handed a receipt, so if after their checks, your note is deemed genuine, you can reclaim the note. If however it is counterfeit, whether you were aware or not, you won’t get it back and won’t be compensated.

What should I do if I think I’ve accepted a counterfeit note?

It is a criminal offence to keep or pass on a note you believe to be counterfeit. If you think a note looks dodgy you should hand it in to the police. Again, you will get a receipt promising its return if it turns out to be real. If it does turn out to be fake, however, the individual will not be compensated. For more information visit the Bank of England website.

 How can I check if a note is real or not?

  1. Running your finger across the front of the note you should feel raised print across the words “Bank of England”.
  2. Holding the note up to the light and checking the watermark. You should see an image of the Queen in the clear oval area in the middle of the note.
  3. Look for the metallic thread running through every genuine note. It appears as silver dashes on the back of £5, £10, £20 and old £50 notes. If you hold a note up to the light, the thread should show up as a continuous dark line. The thread is fully embedded in new £50 notes so there are no silver dashes, but held up to the light it should still appear as a dark line.

Because of the rise in counterfeit money, there are products now available to help put a stop to fraudulent notes! Items such as counterfeit money pens, UV money detectors, cash counters and false money detectors will aid you when trying to check if your cash is genuine or not. Fortunately for you, Western Industrial Products have a wide range of counterfeit catching products! Take a look online, and make sure you don’t become a counterfeit money victim!

Article compiled by: Laura Pay-Savage