Fake bank notes used across Suffolk, warn police

The notes have been found at various locations across Suffolk, with some being caught before payment

The notes have been found at various locations across Suffolk, with some being caught before payment Picture: TORANGE.BIZ - Credit: Archant

A flurry of fraudulent bank notes have surfaced in Suffolk, with fraudsters trying to pay for low-value items with fake money.

Police are urging businesses to be vigilant following multiple reports of counterfeit notes in circulation in Suffolk.

Both £20 and £50 notes have been used, which have not been updated and replaced with plastic polymer notes like the £5 and £10.

While the non-polymer notes are still legal tender, the illegal copies are not.

Where have these notes been used?

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• My Food Store, St Matthew’s Street, Ipswich – A man attempted to pay for a drink using a counterfeit £20 note shortly after 6.20pm on Monday, December 3.

• Star Grill Kebabs, Ipswich – Two men attempted to pay for food with a counterfeit £20 note but the note was refused by a member of staff at around 10.15pm on Monday, December 3.

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• Burger King, Westgate Street, Ipswich – A number of fake £20 notes were taken on Monday, December 10.

• Aldi, Newmarket Road, Bury St Edmunds – A male offender attempted to use a counterfeit £50 note in the supermarket at around 3pm on Tuesday, December 11.

• Little Chef, London Road, Capel St Mary – Three men entered the restaurant and each purchased low value items using counterfeit £20 notes shortly before 4pm on Tuesday, December 11.

• The Village Store, Samuel Court, Ipswich – An unknown male entered the store and attempted to pay for items using a counterfeit £20 note.

• Mannings, Cornhill, Ipswich – Two men were reported for allegedly using counterfeit £20 notes on Tuesday, December 11.

• Buttermarket, Ipswich – Two men were reported for allegedly trying to use counterfeit £20 notes on Tuesday, December 11.

• B&M, Carr Street, Ipswich – Four offenders entered the shop at around 6pm and each paid for low value items using counterfeit notes before leaving again.

• East of England Co-op, The Street, East Bergholt – Two men entered the shop at around 3.45pm on Tuesday, December 11.

One of the offenders used a fake £50 and another offender was refused service with a fake note.

The first suspect is described as male, in his late 20s, white, of a slim build, around 6ft, wearing blue jeans and black shoes.

The second suspect is described as white, in his late 40s, of stocky build, around 6ft.

He was wearing a black coat, blue jeans, black shoes, a white baseball cap and had an Irish accent.

How can I check to see if my note is fake?

Some checks like scanning a note with ultraviolet light can be impractical to do at home, but there are some things to look out for on the notes in your wallet:

• Hold the £20 note up to the light to see coloured irregular shapes printed on the front and back. They combine to form the £ symbol.

• You should also be able to see the Queen’s portrait and a bright £20.

• Use a magnifying glass to look closely at the lettering beneath the Queen’s portrait. You will see the value of the note in small letters and numbers.

• The printed lines and colours should be sharp, clear and free from smudges or blurred edges.

• A metallic thread appears as silver dashes on the back of the note. If you hold the note up to the light, the thread appears as a continuous dark line.

Police are keen to raise awareness among shopkeepers in particular about these incidents and would advise businesses to be vigilant and check cash as thoroughly as possible.

Anyone who is offered any counterfeit notes or has any information about anyone involved in the circulation of counterfeit money can contact Suffolk police on 101.

Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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