1. Identifying a fake paper or polymer note
Polymer ₤ 5 and ₤ 10 notes have actually totally changed paper notes considering that 2018, while this year has seen the release of polymer ₤ 20 notes into flow.
All notes will be polymer by the end of 2021, when the Bank of England anticipates to have provided a ₤ 50 polymer note.
However with paper notes still in circulation and polymer notes having additional security functions to make them harder to counterfeit, what should you be keeping an eye out for to spot if your money is fake?
Initially, let's take a look at how to spot a fake paper banknote. If you're particularly thinking about spotting fake plastic notes, scroll straight to point eight.
These are printed on an unique product, so make sure you check how the paper feels.
An authentic banknote has a cloth-like feel, while a phony note will feel more like basic paper.
₤ 50 banknote (Image: Bank of England).
2. Raised print.
Run your finger throughout the paper note and if it's real, you should be able to feel the raised print on areas such as the words 'Bank of England' on the front.
If it's a counterfeit, the note is unlikely to have a textured feel to it and will feel flat all over.
3. Inspect the metal thread.
A metal thread is embedded in every paper banknote.
This looks like silver dashes on the back of paper ₤ 20 and ₤ 50 notes (see more details on identifying phony paper ₤ 20 notes on this Bank of England page).
The thread is woven through the paper-- not simply printed on-- so when you hold it approximately the light it should appear as a continuous dark line.
This appears as bright green dashes on the front of ₤ 50 notes.
Each dash is actually a window which contains pictures of the '₤' sign and the number '50'. When the note is tilted from side to side, the images move up and down.
When the note is tilted up and down, the images move from side to side and the number '50' and '₤' symbol swap places.
4. Examine the watermark.
If you hold a genuine note up to the light, you should see an image of the Queen's picture.
Nevertheless, if you can still see the watermark when the note is flat and not held up to the light, it's most likely to be a dodgy note.
5. Inspect the print quality.
The printed lines and colours on authentic notes will be detailed and sharp and totally free from smudges or blurred edges. So make sure you check the information thoroughly.
If the quality is bad or untidy, you've obtained a phony!
6. Inspect under ultra-violet light.
This isn't so useful if you've simply been provided a banknote in a shop, however if you're actually identified to learn whether your note is fake or real, put it under ultra-violet light.
If it's the genuine deal, its worth will appear in intense red and green numbers while the background will be dull in contrast.
The paper ₤ 20 and ₤ 50 notes also have intense red and green flecks randomly spread over the front and back of the note.
7. Utilize a magnifying glass.
Use a magnifying glass to look closely at the counterfeit money for sale lettering underneath the Queen's portrait. On a genuine note, ornamental swirls spell out the worth of the note in small letters and characters.