1. Spotting a fake paper or polymer note
Polymer ₤ 5 and ₤ 10 notes have actually entirely changed paper notes since 2018, while this year has seen the release of polymer ₤ 20 notes into circulation.
All notes will be polymer by the end of 2021, when the Bank of England expects to have issued a ₤ 50 polymer note.
However with paper notes still in circulation and polymer notes having extra security features to make them more difficult to fake, what should you be looking out for to identify if your cash is phony?
Initially, let's take a look at how to spot a phony paper banknote. If you're specifically thinking about finding phony plastic notes, scroll directly to point 8.
These are printed on a special product, so make sure you examine how the paper feels.
A genuine banknote has a cloth-like feel, while a fake note will feel more like standard paper.
₤ 50 banknote (Image: Bank of England).
2. Raised print.
Run your finger across the paper note and if it's authentic, you need to be able to feel the raised print on areas such as the words 'Bank of England' on the front.
If it's a fake, the note is unlikely to have a textured feel to it and will feel flat all over.
3. Examine the metal thread.
A metal thread is embedded in every paper banknote.
This appears as silver dashes on the back of paper ₤ 20 and ₤ 50 notes (see more information on finding phony paper ₤ 20 notes on this Bank of England page).
The thread is woven through the paper-- not just printed on-- so when you hold it up to the light it ought to appear as a continuous dark line.
This appears as brilliant green dashes on the front of ₤ 50 notes.
Each dash is in fact a window which includes 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 locations.
4. Check the watermark.
If you hold a real note up to the light, you ought to see an image of the Queen's portrait.
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. Examine the print quality.
The printed lines Fake money that looks and feels real and colours on authentic notes will be detailed and sharp and complimentary from spots or blurred edges. So ensure you examine the detail thoroughly.
If the quality is bad or messy, you've obtained a phony!
6. Inspect under ultra-violet light.
This isn't so convenient if you have actually just been offered a banknote in a store, however if you're truly identified to learn whether your note is phony or real, put it under ultra-violet light.
If it's the real deal, its worth will appear in bright red and green numbers while the background will be dull in contrast.
The paper ₤ 20 and ₤ 50 notes likewise have brilliant red and green flecks randomly spread out over the front and back of the note.
7. Utilize a magnifying glass.
Use a magnifying glass to look closely at the lettering beneath the Queen's portrait. On a genuine note, ornamental swirls define the value of the note in small letters and numerals.