1. Identifying a fake paper or polymer note
Polymer ₤ 5 and ₤ 10 notes have completely changed paper notes considering that 2018, while this year has seen the release of polymer ₤ 20 notes into circulation.
All notes will be polymer by the end of 2021, when the Bank of England expects to have released a ₤ 50 polymer note.
But with paper notes still in flow and polymer notes having extra safety features to make them more difficult to fake, what should you be watching out for to spot if your money is phony?
First, let's take a look at how to identify a fake paper banknote. If you're specifically thinking about spotting phony plastic notes, scroll directly to point 8.
These are printed on a special material, so ensure you check how the paper feels.
An authentic banknote has a cloth-like feel, while a phony note will feel more like standard paper.
₤ 50 banknote (Image: Bank of England).
2. Raised print.
Run your finger across the paper note and if it's authentic, you must have the ability to feel the raised print on locations 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. Check the metallic thread.
A metallic 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 spotting fake paper ₤ 20 notes on this Bank of England page).
The thread is woven through the paper-- not just printed on-- so when you hold it up to the light it should appear as a continuous dark line.
This appears as bright green dashes on the front of ₤ 50 notes.
Each dash is actually a window which contains pictures of the '₤' sign and the number '50'. When the note is tilted from side to side, the images move up and down.
When the note is slanted up and down, the images move from side to side and the number '50' and '₤' sign swap locations.
4. Examine the watermark.
If you hold a genuine note up to the light, you should see a picture 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. Inspect the print quality.
The printed lines and colours on authentic notes will be detailed and sharp and devoid of spots or blurred edges. So ensure you inspect the detail carefully.
If the quality is bad or unpleasant, you have actually got yourself a phony!
6. Examine under ultra-violet light.
This isn't so convenient if you've simply been provided a banknote in a shop, however if you're really determined to find out whether your note is phony or real, put it under ultra-violet light.
If it's the genuine offer, its worth will appear in intense red and green numbers while the background will be dull on the other hand.
The paper ₤ 20 and ₤ 50 Buy fake money notes also have intense red and green flecks arbitrarily topped the front and back of the note.
7. Use a magnifying glass.
Utilize a magnifying glass to look closely at the lettering underneath the Queen's portrait. On a genuine note, decorative swirls define the worth of the note in small letters and characters.