SHOPPERS in South Tyneside are being warned to check their Christmas change after a number of fake notes have been found.
Store staff have found of a number of counterfeit £20 notes, and police are urging shoppers to make sure they are not caught out.
Neighbourhood Inspector Peter Sutton said: “At this time of year, it can be busy for both customers and shop staff, but I would encourage everyone to take a few seconds to check any notes they have been handed to ensure they are authentic.
“I’d ask people to be extra vigilant when receiving £20 notes. If they have any doubt of the authenticity of the money, they should contact their bank and not consider passing the money on.”
One person has been arrested on suspicion of fraud after a number of fake notes were discovered. Inquiries are still ongoing. Police have issued the following advice to customers and shop staff:
n Check the feel of the paper and raised print. The paper should feel stiff and crisp not limp, waxy or shiny.
n Check the watermark. If you hold it up to the light you’ll see the image of the Queen’s portrait.
n The metallic thread embedded in each note appears as silver dashes on the back of £5, £10 and £20 notes – if you hold the note up to the light, the thread will appear as a continuous dark line.
n If handed more than one suspect note, check the serial numbers are not the same.
Anyone with information about the production or distribution of counterfeit notes is asked to call police on 101 or ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.