POLICE are warning traders and members of the public to be wary of counterfeit bank notes.
It follows a recent incident where counterfeit Ulster Bank £10 notes were passed in a shop in Holywood.
Area Commander Chief Inspector Gerry McGrath said: “I’m advising shops and other businesses that handle currency to check all notes and contact police if they suspect they have come into possession of any counterfeit currency.
“There are a number of things to look out for when taking notes as payment –
• Does the main printing feel raised?
• Can you see a bold and clear watermark when the note is held up to the light?
• Does the note feel crisp and not limp, waxy or shiny?
• Is the print clear, sharp and well defined?
• Are the colours clear and distinct? Compare the suspect note against a note which is known to be genuine.
• Is the security thread continuous when the note is held up to the light?
There are also a number of steps which can be taken to raise awareness among customers and also to deter criminals.
•Display clear warning signs stating: – ‘COUNTERFEIT CURRENCY CHECKS WILL BE CARRIED OUT’
• Ensure store staff are aware of how to examine notes.
• Have a policy for your staff to follow on discovery of a counterfeit note. This should include the retention of the note and contacting the police, with a description of the person passing the suspect banknote.
• Ensure there are good lighting conditions at cash points.
“By employing some of these steps you can help reduce the chance of criminals targeting your business to pass counterfeit bank notes.
“I would ask anyone who may have any information about counterfeit notes to contact them at their local police station on the non-emergency number 101.
“Or, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.”