This Alert is issued by UK Finance on behalf of the Royal Mint & the National Crime Agency’s Counterfeit Currency Unit (UKNCO)
It has been identified that there is a current issue in Scotland in relation to the bulk depositing of counterfeit £2 coins at Financial Institutions (Banks / Building Societies / Post Offices). This problem may be occurring elsewhere in the UK but to date no incidents have been notified to the Royal Mint
/ Police / National Counterfeit Currency Unit (UKNCO) at NCA outside Scotland.
The coins are being deposited pre-bagged in small coin bags (10 x £2) with the depositor looking to deposit multiple bags totalling £100 – £500 per deposit. The counterfeit £2 coins recently deposited in Scotland are all dated with either 2011 or 2015.
Counterfeit £2 coins have now been presented at commercial premises.
Points to consider which may indicate that the deposit is suspicious
a) When the content of the coin bag(s) are checked are the coins all of the same year – 2011 or 2015. A normal bag of genuine coinage will typically contain coins of assorted dates
b) Do the coins lack the definition / detail of a genuine £2 coin e.g. lack of detail in centre of coin (tails) – see page(s) 2-3 (re 2011) & 4 (re 2015) – for further details. Are the coins ‘MAGNETIC’ (2015 only). Images on following pages
c) Is the person making the deposit paying in nothing but £2 coins (no other coinage or very little other coinage)
d) Is the quantity of coinage being deposited, a low level deposit of say one or two bags (£20 – £40) or multiple bags e.g. five plus (£100 upwards)
e) Does the ‘customer profile’ (K.Y.C.) match the level of deposits. (Individual customer – why are they paying in so many coins, business customer – why are they paying in just £2 coins)
f) When the bags are checked weighed (multiple of 10 bags) is the weight correct as per genuine coinage
The person making the deposits could be committing a crime (the Financial Institution are the victim).
If you believe a crime has been committed (suspicious deposit) then the matter should be reported to the Police on 101 so it can be investigated
Counterfeit £2 Coins – identification guide for recent 2011 dated examples seen in Scotland (April 2020)
Counterfeit £2 coins – dated 2011 – have recently been detected after being deposited in Scotland. One or more of the visual features below can be used to identify these counterfeit coins.
Central security feature is missing (in counterfeits)
For genuine £2 coins, the designs on both the “heads and tails” should be aligned when rotated on the north, south axis as shown below.
Obverse Design Comparison
The counterfeit coins have little detail in the crown or hair and lack Definition / Detail when compared to the genuine.
Counterfeit £2 Coins – identification guide for recent 2015 dated examples seen in Scotland (June 2020)
Counterfeit £2 coins – dated 2015 design have recently been detected in Scotland. One or more of the features below can be used to identify these counterfeit coins. These 2015 Counterfeit coins are attracted to a magnet- genuine £2 coins are not.
These 2015 dated Counterfeit coins are attracted to a magnet particularly at the joint of the inner part of the coin. Coin orientation and obverse design (‘lack of detail’) should be compared in the same manner as the 2011 coins.
Ringing the changes – a money changing scam
Crime Prevention advice for Retailers
Previously highlighted, however, this type of crime is still ongoing (RECENTLY) and yet easily prevented – a type of fraud which involves the suspect asking for a sum of cash to be changed into notes of a different denomination, for example 10 x £20 notes changed to 20 x £10.
Once the cashier has counted out the cash and handed it to the suspect, the suspect will usually count the money again in front of the cashier and use a sleight of hand technique as he/she is doing so, in order to steal some of the money.
The suspect will then ask the cashier to change the money again, often into an outlandish denomination such as 10p pieces. The cashier will refuse and it is at this point that the suspect will then ask for his/her original money back.
The cashier assumes that the suspect is handing back the full amount and exchanges it for the original money. The offender leaves with the original money, plus whatever they stole during the sleight of hand trick.
It is not unusual for the scam to go unnoticed until the tills are cashed at the end of the day. ‘Ringing the changes’ usually happens during busy times which adds to the confusion and places extra pressure on staff.
Recently one individual managed to gain well in excess of £1,000.00 after visiting several retail premises across the North East – in one day!
What to do to prevent becoming a victim
The most effective way to prevent such criminality is to increase awareness among your staff and follow these simple tips:
• Refuse to exchange notes and adopt a ‘no change’ or ‘one note only’ policy. If you and your staff decline you can’t be out of pocket – direct the individual to a bank.
• Be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour to the Police.
• If you have CCTV, ensure that it is working correctly and is capable of identifying potential suspects.
• Display a poster in the window saying this store does not change money.
• If your store does have to exchange money e.g. Bureau de Change, ensure that staff count and recount any money handed over by the suspect. The scam is reliant on the cashier assuming that they have been given back the original amount.
Don’t forget Staff are under no obligation to change denominations of cash for customers.
In an emergency always ring 999 Or call 101
NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH SCOTLAND
Crime can be managed like any other aspect of business and controlled through business strategies. It is not always just bad luck that one business suffers crime and another enjoys a safe environment.A balanced prevention strategy means that a thief will either give up, move on or be caught thus minimising your business loss.