How to spot fake bank notes as police warn they're being used in Bristol scam

Police have issued a warning after fake bank notes were used to pay for expensive items advertised for sale online.

Avon and Somerset Police say they are aware of two incidents in Bristol where the counterfeit notes were used - both on January 28.

In a warning issued today (February 8), the force warned people to "be vigilant".

"The man contacted the seller to ask them what the lowest price for the item was, before arranging to attend their home. When he arrived, he distracted them while counting out the fake notes and then left with the items," a police spokesperson said.

The offender is described as mixed race, around 6ft, of slim build, with black curly hair.

Police say he kept his face mask on throughout. He arrived on foot, but may have had a car parked nearby.

How to spot a fake bank note

Bank notes have key security features which can be checked, including feel raised print on all notes and holographs.

Polymer notes have a large see-through window with a portrait of the Queen printed on it, around the portrait are the words 'Bank of England' twice with the value of the note.

There is also metallic foil on notes (gold on £5 and £10 notes, gold and blue on £20 notes and gold and green on £50 notes). The foil is silver on the back of all notes.

Watch the Bank of England's advice on how to check notes are real

What to do if you find a fake bank note

If you have information about someone making, selling or using counterfeit banknotes, please contact the police or phone Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.