Brian Phillipson, a now-retired shopkeeper from Morecambe, Lancashire, reckons you spot fakes by rubbing notes against clean paper. There are raised areas on genuine notes and some of the colour will come off. I tried it on a tenner and a twenty and either I did it wrong or was in possession of a couple of fakes. Or, as the Bank of England spokesman pointed out, the raised areas were no longer as they had been worn out.

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