How to spot ‘funny money’ if someone tries to buy your precious bike with it
O Sellers urged to be cautious as flood of ‘funny money’ hits UK ‘Sellers are left with worthless forged notes’
Dealers and private sellers are being urged to be cautious after an increase in overseas buyers using counterfeit UK currency.
Fake currency is big business with billions of bank notes circulating. In fact, the Bank of England removed over 220,000 imitation notes, with a face value of more than £5 million, in the first half of 2018 alone. Organised criminals have discovered new methods of reproducing banknotes, with minor criminals using these fakes to dupe vehicle sellers.
Many of these forgeries have been used to purchase vehicles in the UK, including classic cars and motorcycles, with several dealers and private sellers being left out of pocket after attempting to bank the worthless notes. Visitors from abroad paying cash have been the main culprits to date as they are quick to remove their purchased vehicles from the UK before the seller has a chance to bank the counterfeit notes. Sellers are particularly being warned of buyers from Europe, as some fake Euros have even been known to pass UV tests.
Last month Europol staged a series of raids to disrupt the distribution of counterfeit Euro bank notes.
More than 300 houses were raided in 13 countries, including the UK, resulting in the detention of 235 suspects. On this occasion 1500 fake Euro notes were seized.
In Germany and France, counterfeit print shops were discovered and, in Austria, the Federal Police found over 10,000 fake €10, €20, and €50 notes had been sold over the so-called Darknet to buyers throughout Europe.
With Bulgaria now believed to be one of the most prolific counterfeiters of Euros, a Europol raid recently saw four people working in a Black Sea hotel arrested for counterfeiting €1,570,000-worth of notes. Following this 30 other locations across Bulgaria were raided and a further €11.5 million plus $2 million were seized.
‘Visitors from Europe are the main culprits’
Be warned. That cash might not be all it seems