POLICE in Rathfriland are appealing for information following two incidents of counterfeit currency being passed in shops in Downpatrick Street.
Two counterfeit £20 notes were noticed in a confectionary shop and a counterfeit £10 note was used in a grocery store on Thursday, January 17.
The male who passed the counterfeit £10 note is described as being in his late teens to early 20s, around five feet and nine-to-10 inches in height and of slim build, with short, blonde hair.
Police are appealing to anyone who has information in relation to either incident to contact them in Banbridge on 0845 600 8000.
They have also taken the opportunity to remind business owners and staff to be vigilant regarding counterfeit notes and to take a few minutes to check them carefully before accepting them.
It is a criminal offence to try to pass or keep a banknote that you either know or suspect to be counterfeit. Anyone who inadvertently receives a note believed to be counterfeit should take it to the nearest police station.
Among the steps which can be taken by retailers to raise awareness of the crime are the display of prominent warning signs and a policy for staff to follow on discovery of a counterfeit note.
A police spokesperson also advised business people to ensure there is good lighting at cash points and to go through a checklist to include observation of a “bold and clear” watermark when held up to the light and printed colours which are “clear and distinct”.
“Does the note feel crisp and not limp, waxy or shiny?,” she added, “and is the security thread continuous when the note is held up to the light?
“ he paper quality and raised print should also be part of your checklist, as should a holographic strip or logo, micro lettering and ultra-violet features.
“We can all help to eradicate the use of counterfeit notes and deter criminals by being more aware of the differences between false and genuine bank notes.”