Counterfeit Banknotes

Counterfeit notes

Don't get caught out - know your banknotes

How to spot fraudulent notes

When trying to authenticate a banknote, look for as many genuine security features as possible and  never rely on looking for only one feature when deciding on whether a banknote is genuine.

Take your time, particularly if light conditions are poor or you are handling a large number of notes.

Feel the note in your hands and look at it closely: if you have any doubts, compare it to one that you know to be genuine.

Remember, remain vigilant and do not rely on just one feature, check a few.

Find out more about the security features below.

Check the paper and the raised print

Genuine banknotes are printed on special paper, using a special process that gives them a unique feel.

They should feel crisp and not limp or waxy.

Raised print can also be used in some of the features on genuine banknotes and should feel slightly rough to the touch.

The print quality should be sharp and clear and freefrom smudges and blurred images.

Look and feel

Check the paper and the raised print

Genuine banknotes are printed on special paper, using a special process that gives them a unique feel.

They should feel crisp and not limp or waxy.

Raised print can also be used in some of the features on genuine banknotes and should feel slightly rough to the touch.

The print quality should be sharp and clear and freefrom smudges and blurred images.

Check the watermark

Genuine watermarks are embedded in every banknote and should be hardly apparent until the note is held up to the light and the words 'Ulster Bank' become visible.

 

Watermark

Check the watermark

Genuine watermarks are embedded in every banknote and should be hardly apparent until the note is held up to the light and the words 'Ulster Bank' become visible.

 

Check the security thread

Every note contains a security thread and when held to the light shows as a continuous dark line with the words 'Ulster Bank' clearly visible.

Security thread

Check the security thread

Every note contains a security thread and when held to the light shows as a continuous dark line with the words 'Ulster Bank' clearly visible.

Check the hologram

If a genuine note bears a hologram, the colours and imageswill change depending on the angle the note is held.

Hologram

Check the hologram

If a genuine note bears a hologram, the colours and imageswill change depending on the angle the note is held.

Check the ultra-violet feature

Genuine banknotes are dull under a UV light with only special features becoming visible and highlighted in yellow.

 

Ultraviolet light

Check the ultra-violet feature

Genuine banknotes are dull under a UV light with only special features becoming visible and highlighted in yellow.

 

Check banknote sizes

Banknotes get slightly larger as they increase in value, so a £10 note is bigger than a £5 note and so on.

Size

Check banknote sizes

Banknotes get slightly larger as they increase in value, so a £10 note is bigger than a £5 note and so on.

What happens if I come into possession of a counterfeit banknote?

Counterfeit notes are completely worthless.

If you have a note that you believe is a counterfeit you must take it to an Ulster Bank branch or to the police as soon as you can.  You will be provided with a receipt and the counterfeit will be retained, analysed and subsequently destroyed by the Bank. 

If the note is genuine reimbursement will be made in full.

It is a criminal offence to keep or pass on a note that you know to be counterfeit.

Don’t get caught out – protect yourself and check your banknotes when you receive them.

Ulster Bank banknotes Current denominations and ultra violet markings
Banknotes Future changes

In 2013 the Bank of England announced that the next £5 and £10 banknotes would be printed on polymer.  Polymer is a thin and flexible plastic material.

Polymer notes are cleaner, more secure, and more durable than paper notes. They will provide enhanced counterfeit resilience, and increase the quality of notes in circulation.

The new £5 note will be issued in the second half of 2016 and Royal Mint is to launch a new £1 coin in 2017.

Find out more about polymer banknotes
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Please call 0345 366 5592 (UK)

or if calling from abroad, 0044 2890 538459

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