Warning about "over-stickered" fake £20 notes in UK

Businesses in the UK have been warned to be on the lookout for fake £20 notes, made by placing a sticker with holograms that mimic the genuine article on prop money.

A video posted on Twitter by user @Navbeardedbros shows an example of the counterfeit of a new polymer-based note, with a man peeling off the sticker to reveal "prop money" printed on it and a clear window.

The video was filmed by community activist Naveed Sadiq at a supermarket in Yardley, Birmingham, according to a Birmingham Mail report.

The new polymer £20 note was introduced in February 2020, with a range of new anti-counterfeit features, including two windows, a two-colour foil, metallic holograms, colour-changing inks and a silver foil patch that contains a 3D image of the coronation crown.

The Bank of England says that in 2021 around 103,000 counterfeit banknotes worth £2.7m ($3.6m) were taken out of circulation, with fewer than one in 40,000 banknotes estimated to be fake. At any one time, there is around 4.7 billion genuine banknotes in circulation, with a notional face value of £84bn.

"Lower transactional usage of cash and the increased robustness of the polymer designs acted to reduce counterfeiting during 2021," it said. £20 notes are the most commonly counterfeited, followed by £50s.

"We cannot reimburse you for counterfeit banknotes," it says. "If you suspect that you have a counterfeit banknote, please take it to your nearest police station."

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