Police are warning shop owners in East Lothian to be vigilant following a number of incidents where counterfeit banknotes have been used at shops in Prestonpans and Tranent.
A total of 14 counterfeit notes have been passed to a variety of retailers in each town since Monday, March 4. While some have been detected before a transaction has taken place, others have been successfully used to purchase goods.
The notes are described as Royal Bank of Scotland £20 and £10 notes. The £20 notes all display the same serial number B/81 626676, while the £10 notes display the serial D/19 406339.
A Lothian and Borders Police spokesman said:
There is a significant difference in quality compared to genuine notes, nonetheless they have been successfully passed on a number of occasions, and we are warning shop owners and staff to be vigilant.
Looking at the paper quality, print quality metallic security thread and watermark are three simple ways of checking if a note is counterfeit. Counterfeit banknote detection pens are available at low cost, and are easy to use.
If anyone suspects they have been handed a fake note, then they should seize it and contact the police. It is a criminal offence to hold or pass a note that you know to be counterfeit.
Anyone who would like further crime prevention advice should contact their Local Community Officer, who will arrange a suitable appointment.
Anyone with any information about counterfeit notes being used in their area should contact police on 101, or make an anonymous report through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.