IF you’re heading abroad this summer then it’s worth taking the time to check the banknotes you receive in change aren’t fake.
The introduction of the new 12-sided £1 coin – being hailed as “the most secure coin in the world” – and the old fivers being replaced by polymer £5 have helped tackle the problem of counterfeiting in Britain.
Alamy There are a number of ways to spot fake euros on your travels
But what can you do to make sure you haven’t been given a fake note in change abroad?
Holiday makers heading to Tenerife are being warned to watch out for fake 10 or 20 euro notes after Spain’s biggest counterfeiting network was raided over the weekend, leading to four arrests.
Police reckon tens of thousands of euros worth of notes are now in circulation in nearby islands too including the Canary Islands, such as Lanzarote and Gran Canaria.
Below, we explain a number of indicators to look out for if you suspect your euro – or US dollar – is a fake:How do you spot a fake euro?
Each of the euro banknote denominations have a different colour and image, but they do share common security features to help you tell a fake note from a real one.
1. Look and feel
A real Euro banknote is made of cotton and feels crisp and firm.
Run your finger across the front of a banknote and you will feel raised print in some parts,where the ink is thicker.
The new €5 and the new €10 also have short raised lines on the left and right edges
A fake note will feel limp and waxy. The raised print is usually missing, so the ink does.
2. Check for security features
European Central Bank Here are the security features of euro banknotes you should look out for to spot a fake note
The watermark is produced by varying the thickness of the paper.
It can be seen by holding the banknote against the light. The transitions between the light anddark parts of the image are smooth.
If you put the banknote on a dark surface, the watermark becomes darker. This effect is very easy tosee in the number
A fake watermark is usually printed on the paper. It appears darker than the surrounding area. The transitions between light and dark areas are often very sharp.
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3. Tilt the bank note
When checking €5, €10 and €20 banknotes, the hologram will change between the value of the banknote and a € symbol.
In the €50, €100, €200 and €500 banknotes, the hologram will change between the value of the banknote and a window or doorway.
In the background, you can see rainbow-coloured concentric circles of tiny letters moving outwards. On the new €5 and €10 a portrait of Europa, the main image and the value of the banknote become visible.
Fake holograms are generally static when the banknote is tilted. There are usually no concentric circles of tiny letters.
For more information, visit new-euro-banknotes.eu.
How do you spot a fake US dollar?
Alamy If you discover you have a fake bank note – take it to the police
The $20 bill is the most commonly counterfeited banknote in the US.
While worldwide, the $100 note is the most frequently counterfeited.
To test a dollar banknote, check the serial number – if the number is a different number to the Treasury seal, or matches that of another note, it’s a fake, International Currency Exchange advised.
The agency tasked with investigating and preventing counterfeiting of US dollars is the Secret Service.
According to them, outside borders of banknotes should be “clear and unbroken” – meaning if your bill is blurred or fractured, it could be a fake.
For more information, visit uscurrency.gov.
What should I do if my bank note is fake?
If you discover you have a fake bank note – take it to the police.
You should not take the note straight to the bank or building society if you suspect it to be fake.
But if you’ve received money that is damaged – there is a way to swap your managed note without losing out on any cash.
Claimants must fill in a form and send it, along with the bank note, in the post.
It is then assessed by the bank and claims are paid directly into the applicant’s bank account, if successful.
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