Urgent warning issued over new King Charles banknotes

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The release of new banknotes bearing King Charles III's portrait has inadvertently opened the door for scammers to push counterfeit notes into circulation. While these notes are not yet commonplace in everyday transactions, a pressing alert has been issued about their potential forgery.

According to data from the Bank of England and Raisin UK, in 2023, as many as 116,000 fake banknotes with a face value totalling £2.5 million were removed from circulation. Despite the advanced security features on the new polymer notes designed to make spotting fakes easier, the public is urged to remain cautious, reports The Express.

Kevin Mountford, savings expert and co-founder of Raisin UK, is advising individuals to inspect their banknotes carefully, especially when engaging in cash dealings with retailers and independent traders.

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He said: "For the foreseeable future, both Queen Elizabeth II and King Charles III banknotes will be circulating. Security features are present on all of these notes, allowing you to check notes to prevent forgeries." He also shared tips on how to authenticate banknotes.

People should notice a shift in the hologram image's wording of the note's denomination when tilting it from side to side. For example, on a £5 note, the word changes between 'Five' and 'Pound'. Another feature to check is the see-through window. The metallic image over this window should sport specific colours - gold for the £5 and £10 notes, a combination of gold and blue for the £20 note, and fold and green for the £50 note.

Furthermore, the window should also display a portrait that matches the printed monarch. "Familiarise yourselves with the look and feel of the new notes," he advised. "Forgeries are often much easier to detect now these banknotes have improved from previous paper ones - however, criminals may still attempt to exploit the changes."

Counterfeit banknotes, despite their rarity, are worthless and there is no reimbursement for any you come across. If you suspect a note is counterfeit, it should be taken to your nearest police station, where it can be forwarded to the National Crime Agency for further investigation.

"Most retailers regularly check banknotes, so it's unlikely you will come across a counterfeit when shopping with trusted retailers," Kevin added. "You should be more cautious about accepting cash from markets, online marketplaces like Facebook, and any cash-in-hand jobs."

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