The Royal Gibraltar Police’s Economic Crime Unit is advising the general public that counterfeit versions of the new polymer sterling five pound notes have been identified and seized in Gibraltar.
The polymer notes feature a wide range of security features intended to make counterfeiting as difficult as possible. However, for these to be effective it requires that:
1) The public is aware of the security features on the notes
2) That individuals check the security features on their notes to ensure they have not been handed a counterfeit note.
Counterfeiters therefore do not need to produce perfect notes, merely ones that do not stand out as counterfeit ones.
Amongst the most noticeable feature on the notes being circulated is the lack of the Elizabeth Tower on the see through window on the note. On the originals this is made of gold foil on one side and silver on the other giving a multicoloured rainbow effect when the note is tilted for viewing.
The texture of the note is very similar in feel to the original notes, although the printing is not as defined, particularly the micro printing. The blue ink is also somewhat lighter than on the original notes, giving it a slightly faded look. Additionally the printing on the foil patches appears faded.
However, the RGP draws attention to the fact that the ultra violet security feature of the original notes is reproduced on the counterfeit notes.