Fake Scottish £50 notes circulating in Skegness

Fake Scottish �50 notes are being passed around Skegness. ANL-170126-085330001
Fake Scottish �50 notes are being passed around Skegness. ANL-170126-085330001

Businesses in Skegness are being warned to watch out for fake Scottish £50 notes which are being passed around Skegness.

The warning comes in a Tweet by Lincolnshire Coast Neighbourhood Policing Inspector Colin Haigh.

In the Tweet he asks that anyone who is given a fake note should call the police and provide as many details of the offenders as possible, such as ‘details of offenders needed, car reg etc’.

Apart from the obvious point that it is the English currency you would normally expect to be given, the Royal Bank of Scotland says there are various ways you can spot a fake £50 note.

The bank is one of three in Scotland who issue their own banknotes. It advises that when trying to authenticate a banknote, you should look for genuine security features, comparing a suspect note with one that is known to be genuine.

Never rely on looking for only one feature – the feature you choose may be one the counterfeiters have attempted to replicate. Instead check for as many as possible of the following:

It is a criminal offence to hold or pass on a banknote that you know to be counterfeit

Royal Bank of Scotland

Serial Numbers

Genuine notes have unique serial numbers therefore if you have two notes displaying the same serial number at least one of them is a counterfeit


Genuine banknote paper should be reasonably crisp and not limp, waxy or shiny and the special printing processes give banknotes an individual feel. It should not feel like normal paper.


Genuine watermarks should be hardly apparent until the note is held up to the light when the clear portrait with subtle light and shade becomes visible. The watermark on RBS is an image of Lord Ilay who appears on the front of the banknotes.

Security Thread

Genuine notes have a metallic thread embedded in the paper and when the note is held up to the light the thread appears as a bold continuous line


Raised print is used in some of the features on genuine banknotes and should feel slightly rough to the touch. Lines and print should be sharp and well defined with no blurred edges. Colours should be clear and distinct – not hazy. The wording on RBS banknotes is in raised print


If a genuine note bears a hologram the colours/images will change depending on the angle the note is held

Detector Pen

When applied; detector pens leave a dark line on most counterfeit notes; if the note is genuine the pen leaves no mark. We recommend that you mark a suspect banknote diagonally from corner to corner

UV Light

Genuine banknotes are dull under a UV light with only the special UV features present in the note highlighted yellow

Magnifying Glass

Genuine notes contain some microprint that is only visible using a magnifying glass. On a genuine note the print should be sharp and well defined with no blurred edges. On RBS banknotes microprint features within the block of colour at the bottom of the front of the note and should read ‘RBSRBSRBSRBS’ and the line above this block of colour should read ‘The Royal Bank of Scotland’

What to do if you find yourself in possession of a counterfeit banknote:

If you have a banknote that you believe to be counterfeit, and you know for sure who gave you the note, you should take it immediately to the police for investigation. It is a criminal offence to hold or pass on a banknote that you know to be counterfeit.

If you do not know who gave you the banknote you are required to take it to any local branch of the affected bank of issue. The bank will complete a “Retention of Counterfeit Currency Form” and give you a copy for your records.

The Bank will then authenticate the banknote before forwarding all counterfeits to the National Crime Agency for analysis.

Counterfeit banknotes are worthless therefore no reimbursement will be given unless the banknote submitted is subsequently found to be genuine.

Anyone with any information about fraudulent notes being circulated in Skegness should call Lincolnshire Police on 101. Read more about spotting fraudulent notes here.