Fake money that looks and feels real: It's Not as Difficult as You Think



1. Spotting a phony paper or polymer note

Polymer ₤ 5 and ₤ 10 notes have totally replaced paper notes since 2018, while this year has actually seen the release of polymer ₤ 20 notes into circulation.

All notes will be polymer by the end of 2021, when the Bank of England anticipates to have provided a ₤ 50 polymer note.

But with paper notes still in circulation and polymer notes having additional safety features to make them more difficult to counterfeit, what should you be keeping an eye out for to find if your cash is fake?

Initially, let's take a look at how to spot a phony paper banknote. If you're specifically interested in identifying fake plastic notes, scroll directly to point 8.

These are printed on an unique product, so make certain you check how the paper feels.

A real banknote has a cloth-like feel, while a fake note will feel more like basic paper.

₤ 50 banknote (Image: Bank of England).

2. Raised print.

Run your finger across the paper note and if it's genuine, 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 fake, 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 appears as silver dashes on the back of paper ₤ 20 and ₤ 50 notes (see more info on finding fake 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 up to the light it must look like a continuous dark line.

This looks like brilliant green dashes on the front of ₤ 50 notes.

Each dash is actually a window which contains images of the '₤' sign and the number '50'. When the note is tilted from side to side, the images go up and down.

When the note is slanted 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 an authentic note approximately the light, you must see an image of the Queen's picture.

However, if you can still see the watermark when the note is flat and not held up to the light, it's likely to be a dodgy note.

5. Examine 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 examine the information thoroughly.

If the quality is bad or unpleasant, you have actually obtained a phony!

6. Check under ultra-violet light.

This isn't so useful if you have actually simply been provided a banknote in a store, but if you're really identified to learn whether your note is fake or genuine, put it under ultra-violet light.

If it's the real deal, its worth will appear Buy fake money in bright red and green numbers while the background will be dull in contrast.

The paper ₤ 20 and ₤ 50 notes also have bright red and green flecks randomly topped the front and back of the note.

7. Use a magnifying glass.

Utilize a magnifying glass to look closely at the lettering beneath the Queen's portrait. On an authentic note, ornamental swirls spell out the worth of the note in small letters and numerals.

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