Retailers and their checkout staff have to be constantly on the lookout for foreign coins and forged banknotes.

Morrisons recently announced that it had stopped accepting £2 coins through its self-service checkouts. Store bosses said that foreign coins of the same size were being used by customers; these included the Iranian 250 Rial, which is worth just 1p. I know from my own experience that it’s nearly impossible to avoid accepting foreign (or forged) coins at the till.

Last Tuesday, I floated the Morrisons £2 coin issue on a Twitter retailer forumSue Connolly of the Connolly Group of Spar in Wiltshire, said that while they haven’t had a problem with £2 coins they have had an issue with forged Scottish bank notes.

Earlier this year, she saw a local newspaper article reporting that forged Scottish notes were being used in Andover and the surrounding area. Since her family has 4 stores in Wiltshire, she was concerned that they could become a victim. Sue says that to protect their business they invested in Scansafe 155i detection machines. At around £80 for each machine their value was soon illustrated when the fraudster visited their Pewsey store. The checkout assistant ran the £20 note through the detector and it indicated that it was forged. When the ‘customer’ was told that the note couldn’t be accepted he left the store. Success!

Useful links

The Committe of Scottish Bankers’ guide to help identify real bank notes that they produce

Association of Commercial Banknote Issuers (ACBI) factsheet

The Bank of England’s advice for retailers.

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