How to spot counterfeit cash

Retailers and businesses will be much busier than normal over the Christmas and New Year sales periods and will often employ temporary staff who may be less familiar in handling bank notes. There is an increased risk of counterfeit bank notes being passed by fraudsters to retailers then onto you through your change.

Check notes at the checkout

Check all notes you are given as change, in the presence of the retailer, before you leave the checkout and request they exchange any that you believe to be counterfeit.

Manual checks can quickly and easily be made using the security features on bank notes. Don’t rely on checking just one security feature, but check a few such as;

  • The feel of the paper and the raised print on "Bank of England"
  • The watermark
  • The holograms
  • The metallic thread
  • The motion thread on the £50 note

A video on how to check Bank of England bank notes are genuine

The Bank of England app

For additional help in identifying counterfeit notes download the free banknote App for iOS and Android. It is an interactive touch screen guide for checking your banknotes

Counterfeit prevention advice for retailers and businesses

Please visit the Bank of England website.

Counterfeit banknotes are rare – let’s work together to keep it that way.

For more information please contact the

Bank of England
Banknote Education Team

Polymer banknotes are coming

To receive emails with news and updates about Bank of England bank notes, including information on the introduction of polymer banknotes, please join the Bank of England mailing list.

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