Despite boosted security, BoE warns of possible fake £5 notes

Last September the new £5 note was launched on the UK using polymer designs and enhanced anti-counterfeiting tech, but now the Bank of England (BoE) is warning that some of the new fivers could be copied onto paper.

According to a report by Somerset Live, the BoE is looking into reports that counterfeit versions of the five pound note are being used in Dorset.

"A Dorset PCSO has warned of counterfeit new £5 notes circulating, although Dorset Police and the Bank were seeking clarification on whether these were the polymer notes," the local news site reports.

PCSO Sarah Dutton told the public: "Please be aware of counterfeit new five pound notes circulating in the area." It is not believed that the police or the BOE have yet seen the fakes. A BoE spokesperson told The Daily Mirror however that it may be possible that the fake notes were fresh, uncirculated examples of the outgoing five-pound note, but not new polymer notes.

The first set of polymer notes were launched last autumn with their dual purpose being sustainability and their inability to be forged. The new fiver comes with a host of security features that include a see-through window and the foil Elizabeth Tower, which is gold on the front of the note and silver on the back.

Only a tiny proportion of old notes are counterfeit - 0.0075 per cent in 2015 according to the Bank's figures – but the BoE said at launch that it wanted "to stay one step ahead of the counterfeiters" with these new security features. The older paper notes will stop being legal tender on May 5.

The BoE has in recent years looked to new tech to help it combat forged notes, and last March launched a smartphone app to guide people wishing to check the authenticity of bank notes (although this was before the launch of the new five-pound note).

The Bank is planning to launch new a £10 note in September this year, and a replacement £20 note by 2020.

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