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The Federation is urging its members to remain vigilant following reports of counterfeit notes being circulated in Belfast.

Retailers have reported a number of counterfeit plastic £20 and £10 notes that they have found in their tills.
Polymer £10 and £5 notes have completely replaced paper notes since 2018. Polymer £20 notes were released into circulation earlier this year and all notes will be polymer by the end of 2021. Although polymer notes are much harder to counterfeit than paper notes, criminals are still trying to use counterfeit plastic notes as a payment method.

How to spot counterfeit polymer notes:
1. Familiarise yourself (and your employees) with the security features of genuine notes
2. Take time to thoroughly check notes
3. If in doubt, compare the suspect note with a note that you know to be genuine
4. Use a counterfeit note detector pen

Reporting counterfeit notes:
Counterfeiting directly funds organised crime and must be reported to the police or Crimestoppers. The circulation of counterfeit notes damages the UK economy, businesses and the livelihoods of independent store owners.

NFRN’s National President Stuart Reddish said: “We are urging our members to take their time to check all of the notes that they receive following a series of counterfeit plastic notes being reported in Belfast.

“Counterfeit notes severely damage the livelihoods and businesses of independent retailers and must be reported.

“It is extremely discouraging to see that organised criminals are trying to take advantage of store workers whom are currently swept of their feet, especially during these highly-challenging circumstances.”

If you have information about someone making, selling or using counterfeit banknotes, please contact the police via 101 or phone Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

For more information on how to spot counterfeit notes, visit:
https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/counterfeit-banknotes/how-to-check-your-banknotes

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