Banknote warning as money experts explain how to spot a fake as millions expire
Money experts are advising people to be on the lookout for counterfeit notes, as millions of paper notes will expire in September.
Today, most banknotes are made of polymer, a material harder to counterfeit than paper – but there’s always a chance you’ll receive counterfeit money.
This fall, polymer notes will completely replace all paper notes, with households being urged to spend all 775 million paper notes in circulation by September 30, when they will be phased out.
The £20 and £50 notes are still usable until the deadline, while the £5 and £10 notes have already been withdrawn, reports The Mirror.
How to spot a counterfeit note
Change Checker has a guide on how to spot wrong notes – and spotting a misfire is easier than you might think.
“Fraudulent banknotes are also referred to as ‘counterfeit’ notes and although fewer and fewer are being put into circulation – with less than one in 40,000 counterfeit notes in 2021 – it is still an important topic to discuss,” they said. declared.
“Although polymer banknotes are much more difficult to reproduce than traditional paper banknotes, you should always check your banknotes when you receive them.”
Check the size
The first check is to look at the size of your ticket. The higher the value, the bigger the ticket should be.
For example, the polymer £5 note should measure 125mm by 65mm, the £10 note should measure 132mm by 69mm, and the £20 note should measure 139mm by 73mm.
Check security features
There are five security features on polymer notes that you should be aware of. These are designed to help you spot a fake.
All new plastic banknotes have holograms, and these should have words that match their value. These words will change as you tilt the note from side to side.
The words should switch between “Five” and “Pounds” for the polymer £5, while the £10 note will switch between “Ten” and “Pounds” etc.
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Each ticket will also feature a transparent window with a metallic image. Polymer £5 and £10 notes both have gold foil on the front of the note in this part and silver on the back.
The £20 note has blue and gold foil on the front of the note for the metallic image and money on the back.
The Queen’s portrait will be printed in the transparent window and this should be found on all banknotes. The words “Bank of England” will also be printed twice.
Your next check is the foil patch that should be present on every note. For the £5 note this is a green leaf patch – it is circular and spells “BLENHEIM” to commemorate Churchill’s birthplace.
The £10 note has a copper foil patch, and it is shaped like a book and is expected to contain the letters ‘JA’ as a tribute to Jane Austen.
A purple foil patch in the shape of a circle with a ‘T’ in its centre, to represent JMW Turner, is printed on the £20 note.
Finally, check the touch of your note. The polymer should be thin and soft to the touch while the words “Bank of England” should be embossed.
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