Which? has issued a warning to anyone who uses notes due to the number of fake notes available on Facebook.

Following a complaint from a Which? user, the consumer experts carried out a search for ‘polymer notes’ on the social media site and made alarming discoveries.

Pages claiming to print “authentic polymer notes” were easily found, with the description saying: “We print plastic polymer notes. All security features on check pen and light legit.”

Which? say many of the pages are “outright scams”, with people receiving nothing in return for their payment.

County Times:

They added: “However, if notes are being made in huge numbers, it would be difficult to spend or launder them without avoiding detection, and selling them on might prove lucrative.

“Regardless of whether the notes are truly for sale, it’s galling to see counterfeit cash being promoted so openly on the world’s largest social media platform.

“This is another example of a financial crime being openly perpetrated on the Meta-owned site. Which? has previously exposed pages offering fake driving licences and even stolen identities.”

Which? contacted Meta, who run Facebook, about the issue, with a Meta spokesman saying: “Fraudulent activity is not allowed on our platforms and we’ve removed the posts and accounts brought to our attention. We encourage people to report activity like this to us and the police.”

The Bank of England estimates that less than one in 30,000 bank notes used in the first six months of 2023 were fake, and said the problem of fake notes has reduced since paper notes were withdrawn in 2020.

What should I do if I have a fake banknote?

You can see what £5, £10, £20 and £50 bank notes should look like on the Bank of England website, as well as viewing finding out how to ensure your note is legitimate here.

The Bank of England advice says: “Counterfeit banknotes are rare and also worthless.

“We cannot reimburse you for counterfeit banknotes. If you suspect that you have a counterfeit banknote, please take it to your nearest police station.

“The police should fill out an NCO-1 form and provide you with a receipt and incident number.

“The suspect notes will be sent to the National Crime Agency and if counterfeit to the Bank of England for further examination.

“If there is insufficient information to pursue an investigation or the circumstances are not suspicious then please return the notes to the Bank of England using one of these forms.”