They have only been around less than six months but there appears to already be fake £5 notes in circulation.
Police have issued warnings about the fake notes after the Bank of England admitted there have been cases of the design being passed off on paper.
The new polymer format was believed to be impossible to counterfeit when it was launched back in September 2016.
But fake notes that have been copied on to paper have been spotted in Dorset, according to Somerset Live.
How to spot a fake £5 note
- Check the see-through window and the portrait of Queen Elizabeth.
- Check the image of Big Ben is gold on the front of the note and silver on the back.
- Make sure the foil patch changes from ‘Five’ to ‘Pounds’ when you tilt it.
- Check the coronation crown appears 3D by wiggling the note.
- Check the green foil patch on the back contains the word ‘Blenheim’
Dorset PSCO Sarah Dutton reportedly said on Thursday: ‘Please be aware of counterfeit new five pound notes circulating in the area.
‘Report any suspicious activity via 101 or 999 if it is an emergency.’
The fake notes have reportedly been seen in the Bearwood and Kinson areas, near Poole, and also in Sherborne and Gillingham.
Dorset Police is yet to clarify the reports from PCSO Dutton, but concerned police chiefs have still warned the public to be alert to possible forgeries.
If you think you’ve got a £5 note that looks a little unusual, call 101 and inform the police.
The old £5 notes will no longer work from May 5 onwards so you’re advised to exchange them at your bank or building society in plenty of time.
Metro.co.uk has contacted Dorset Police and Bank of England for comment.