Warning over fake £20 notes
CLEVER FAKES: Third spate of counterfeits in town this year
FAKE £20 notes have been used in the town again.
Shopkeepers are giving warnings after being passed forgeries in Ashford town centre in the last few weeks.
This follows two other periods in the spring when counterfeit banknotes were used.
Two more shops have reported being passed fakes and others are carefully checking notes passed to them over the counter.
Kamini Patel, co-owner of The Chocolate Box newsagent in Ashford High Street, said: “We were passed a forgery as recently as Monday last week and they seem to be coming in once or twice every week.
“It is a nightmare. Each time you lose money because you have sold someone an item and given them change but actually been paid nothing.
“They can slip through when you are very busy. All we can do is be vigilant. We use a marker pen to detect fakes.”
Jill Archer, manager of Goldrush Jewellery in Ashford High Street, says she has been passed two counterfeits in the last few weeks.
She said: “The first time it happened I took cash to the bank and the cashier felt one of the notes and said it was fake.
“It happened again about a week later. These ones are quite clever forgeries and they tend to have 47 at the end of the serial number.”
Mrs Archer has also found that these phonies have no £20 figure in white outline inside the note’s white strip.
Shopkeepers who recently found the phoney notes were due to hand them in to police.
In March police warned local businesses to be vigilant after forgeries were passed to petrol stations, small shops and businesses at Ashford Retail Park.
In May the Kentish Express reported that The Fair Trade Shop lost £60 after two men used fake notes to pay for items worth less than £1 over two days.
Goldrush manager Jill Archer with the forged note, left, and a genuine note