POLICE are urging residents to be on their guard after fake £20 notes were found to be in circulation.
Residents and businesses in East Durham are being warned to be vigilant against the counterfeit cash.
Police say in the past special pens to test the authenticity of the notes have been issued, but the production process by criminals has changed and they are no longer of use.
Officers say checks can be done, including looking for raised print, especially the words “Bank of England”, the foil should be holographic, a series of dotted silver rectangles should form a dotted line, a watermark on the left hand side of the front of the note, the texture and under ultraviolet light a red and yellow “20” should be visible.
More information on checking for counterfeit currency is available from the Bank of England website.
Anyone with information about counterfeit notes should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.