Recently I wrote about Scottish and Northern Irish notes, and if they were legal tender in England. (They’re not, but legal tender doesn’t mean much - you can take the notes if you want.)
This prompted a response from Lizzy Hopson who runs Budgens Lyndhurst in Hampshire. She wrote: “We use UV lights on most of our notes, but some still get through. Recently we had a fake £50 which was confiscated from the ‘customer’ and taken to the local police station. Fake £50s are rare, but fake £20s are common. Using a UV light is quick and easy and if you know what to look for (the hidden numbers light up) then you can minimise your losses.
“The Bank of England has good advice on its website. Scottish notes are a nightmare as they have different holographic markings and there are so many different banks in Scotland all producing their own notes. Try to get two people to check before accepting them.”
She added on a later email: “I should think most retailers use some form of note-testing equipment. If they don’t they are allowing themselves and their businesses to be more vulnerable to scams.”
Anyone looking at our website will have seen a story dated May 19 concerning Wiltshire police’s warning of seven offences involving fake £50 notes and Scottish twenties at retail outlets in Devizes, Calne, Marlborough and Swindon.
So some retailers are not being as careful as Lizzy.