November 30, 2016
Warning over fake £50 notes circulating in Burnham-On-Sea

Residents and businesses in Burnham-On-Sea have this week been warned to be on the look out for fake £50 bank notes circulating in the town.

It comes after one shop, GW Hurley Toys and Book Shop in Burnham High Street, unwittingly accepted one of the counterfeit notes this week, along with a further shop in the town centre.

GW Hurley's Colin Morris told "It was a very good £50 counterfeit note that actually passed our security scan and it was only later that we realised it was a fake. We are now £50 out of pocket and I would advise others to be wary if accepting £50 notes."

The two incidents in Burnham comes as Crimestoppers has this week issued advice to the public on spotting counterfeit banknotes.

It says there have been several reported incidents in the region where buyers have been turning up in person to use fake notes to pay for items sold on Gumtree, Facebook and other buy-and-sell websites, leaving sellers out of pocket.

While less than 1% of notes in circulation are counterfeit, it says this is not a victimless crime since many retailers, businesses, schools, charities and the elderly have been conned out of money using fake notes.

Crimestoppers says the signs to look for include:

On paper banknotes:
Feeling for raised print across the words ‘Bank of England’
Holding the note up to the light to check the watermark
Looking for the metallic thread running through every genuine paper note

On the new polymer £5 note:
Checking the see-through window and the portrait of the Queen
Looking at the Elizabeth tower to check it is gold on the front of the note and silver on the back
Checking the foil patches

Crimestoppers’ Mark Hallas says: "We want to raise awareness of counterfeit money, especially around Christmas when there are more transactions happening and money can be tight. Purchasing counterfeit notes can be tempting and many people do not realise that, not only are these notes completely worthless, but knowingly holding or passing them on is a crime."

Ben Crosland, Senior Manager of the Banknote Education team at the Bank of England, added: "Christmas is a busy time for both retailers and the public, and unfortunately it provides an opportunity for criminals to pass on counterfeit notes as payment. While we work hard to stay one step ahead of fraudsters, it is important people check security features on the £5, £10, £20 and £50 banknotes when they are passed in transactions."

Readers with information about those making, selling or buying counterfeit notes can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through the anonymous online form at


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