Make Sure you can Spot the difference between a Real and a Fake Plastic Five Pound Note, with this official guide from the Bank of England.
The new plastic five pound notes are supposed to be the safest yet, with many new security features. However, a man in Port Talbot was given a rather convincing FAKE one in his change on Friday just gone.
When Peter Fowler, bought his lunch in Port Talbot on Friday, he claims he was handed a counterfeit £5 note as part of his change and now is warning everyone to be vigilant.
Peter Fowler, told WalesOnline that he noticed something was not quite right when he went to fold it up to place it in his wallet.
“It felt like a plastic carrier bag. It felt like it was made out of thin plastic. I looked closer and saw the Big Ben was missing and part of the serial number and the Queen’s face were coming off. When I compared it to a genuine note I already had I also saw the silver strips were green.”
"At first glance, it looked real. People definitely need to pay attention when they’re being handed their change,” he said.
How to Spot a Fake
The New Plastic £5 notes entered circulation in September 2016 and is said to have many more security features than the old paper version. The Bank of England’s has an official guide to all these security features:
- See-through window - There is a large see-through window on the note. A clearly defined portrait of the Queen is printed on the window, with the words ‘£5 Bank of England’ twice around the edge. Around the edge of the window is a coloured border, which changes from purple to green when you tilt the note. The £ symbol in the window also changes from purple to green. This effect can be seen on the front and back of the note.
- Big Ben - There is a finely detailed metallic image of the Elizabeth Tower (also known as Big Ben) over the see-through window. The foil is gold on the front of the note and silver on the back. When you tilt the note, you will see a multi-coloured rainbow effect.
- Foil patches - On the front of the note, below the see-through window, is a silver foil patch. When you tilt the note the word ‘Five’ changes to ‘Pounds’, and you will see a multi-coloured rainbow effect. On the front of the note, above the see-through window, is a silver foil patch containing an image of the coronation crown, which appears 3D. When you tilt the note, you will see a multi-coloured rainbow effect.
- Blenheim maze - The Marlborough maze at Blenheim Palace Estate (Churchill’s birthplace), originally designed by Mr. Adrian Fisher with assistance from Mr. Randoll Coate, is the inspiration for the green foil printed on the back of the note.
- Check the polymer and the raised print - The £5 note is printed on polymer – a thin and flexible plastic. The words ‘Bank of England’ are printed in raised ink on the front of the note, there is also raised ink in the bottom right corner, around the number 5
- Print quality - The printed lines and colours on the note are sharp, clear and free from smudges or blurred edges.
- Micro-lettering - Using a magnifying glass, look closely at the lettering beneath the Queen’s portrait you will see the value of the note written in small letters and numbers.
- Ultraviolet feature - If you look at the front of the note under a good-quality ultraviolet light, the number 5 appears in bright red and green, while the background stays dull in contrast.
The Security Features explained further in the Bank of England Short Video