Increase in use of Counterfeit Banknotes

Dear Watch Member,

In recent weeks, there has been an increase in the use of counterfeit banknotes via online marketplaces, such as Facebook Marketplace. A typical example of this might be individual(s) agreeing to purchase high-value electrical items, such as phones or games consoles. The individual(s) would then collect the items from the sellers, handing over an envelope filled with counterfeit currency before fleeing the scene with the goods.

Top Tips to protect against this type of fraud:

Consider alternative, secure, electronic payment methods – Such as PayPal, where the buyer isn’t able to attend your home address. Avoid meeting to make exchanges in public where you may be pressured into a transaction.

Visit the buyer’s online profile – Try to learn more about the person you are selling to, their marketplace history, any mutual friends, or ratings they may have received. This may help you ascertain if they are genuine.

Record the buyer’s details – Name, profile picture and anything else which may assist in identifying them at a later date.

Inspect the banknotes – If your transaction is in-person for cash, don’t feel pressured into handing over items until you are satisfied that the banknotes are not counterfeit. Of course, not all counterfeits are easy to spot. For more information on counterfeit banknotes and how to identify one, please visit the Bank of England website here:

Read Facebook’s “Tips for buying and selling safely on Marketplace” via their website.

If you need to reply regarding this message, tap on this email address: [email protected]

Lee O’Brien
Pinner Safer Neighbourhood Team
Email: [email protected]