Police have issued a warning against counterfeit cash scams, as the number of fake notes in circulation increases.
South Yorkshire police have released a statement to urge people and businesses to check any notes they receive, as a number of fake £20 notes have been reported across the county.
Multiple con-artists have been reported attempting to buy various goods, from takeaways to jewellery, with the counterfeit £20 notes.
Andy Foster, South Yorkshire Police Fraud Protect Officer, said: “Scammers will often pass a fake note within a number of genuine notes, or may and ask to swap fake notes for a different denomination.
“Therefore, it’s really important that you carefully check any notes you receive, to make sure they are not counterfeit.
“The Bank of England can teach you how to check if it’s counterfeit or genuine via their website: How to check your banknotes | Bank of England”
The website suggests to tilt the note from side to side, ensuring the words in the hologram change from “Twenty” to “pounds”.
The site also provides a free online bank note training session, lasting about 30 minutes, for those who would like more in-depth knowledge.
The Bank of England said: “We cannot reimburse you for counterfeit banknotes. If you suspect that you have a counterfeit banknote, please take it to your nearest police station.
“Counterfeiting directly funds organised crime. It hurts the UK economy by creating losses for businesses, which ultimately affects the cost of things that we buy. It also affects the pocket of anyone who receives a counterfeit note, as they are worthless.
“If you report counterfeiting to the police, you are helping with investigations and alerting them to a problem in their area. This means that they can take action to protect your community.”
Officer Foster added: “Knowingly trying to pass counterfeit currency for payment is a criminal offence and you will face criminal prosecution if you are found to have intentionally used fake bank notes to make a payment.
“If you ever suspect that you have come into possession of a suspicious bank note, please call 101 and report it to police. Receiving reports of where and how these fake notes are being used is really important in helping us stop this crime.”