ARE you carrying funny money? That’s the question being asked by bobbies in Chester who have seen an increase in the number of counterfeit notes in the city.
In the past few weeks, there have been more than 20 incidents in which shoppers or businesses have reported receiving counterfeit notes to the police.
Now officers are looking to the public to help take this dodgy dosh out of circulation.
Detective Sergeant Barry Brown, of Chester Inner Neighbourhood Policing Unit, said: “Counterfeit money is a serious problem and it usually hits the open market as a result of some earlier form of criminal activity – often relating to drugs.
“Of course the most common handler of counterfeit money is the innocent member of the public or shopkeeper who are handed notes as they go about their daily business.
“We are working extremely hard to take these dodgy notes out of general circulation and want people to be on their guard when using paper money and to check every note they receive.
“All Bank of England notes have a number of security features, such as raised text, metallic thread, microtext and holograms, and while some fakes can be very close to the real thing none can replicate all of the features.
“Another indication that notes are counterfeit is ink staining. This is often used to mask imperfections in the print of the fakes and any stained notes should be treated with extreme caution.”
If you think you have received a fake note check the security features against those listed on the Bank of England’s website www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/security.
If you are still unsure take the note to a police station as soon as possible. You will be given a receipt for the note which will then be sent to the Bank of England for testing. If it is genuine you will be reimbursed in full.
It is a criminal offence to keep or pass on a note you know to be counterfeit.
If you receive a stained note use the following advice depending on how you gained the note:
If you are given the note in shop, refuse it if you can – only clean notes should be accepted.
If the note comes from a cash machine withdrawal take it to the counter or use the telephone number on the machine to report it. Staff are being trained to provide you with assistance in obtaining a refund of the face value of the banknote.
Further information about stained notes is available at www.banknotewatch.co.uk/public.
DS Brown added: “The vast majority of people who receive fake notes are innocent recipients and by reporting the notes to the banks or police you are actively helping to reduce crime and some of the methods used to finance criminal activity.
“If you think you have received a fake note, or have information about the use or production of counterfeit money contact Cheshire Police on 0845 458 0000 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.