BUSINESSES and members of the public are being warned following more than 40 reports of attempts to use counterfeit notes in Dorset. The offences tend to involve individuals paying for small value items with either Bank of England or Scottish £50 notes. The retailer has subsequently discovered that the note is counterfeit.

Police Inspector Simon Perry, of Dorset Police, said: “We have a number of live investigations that we are carrying out into these incidents and believe some may be linked to five men. It is unclear at this stage whether these men are working together or as individuals.

“In light of the increase in reports, I would urge businesses to be vigilant and take extra care to check any notes before they are accepted as payment. If retailers are in any doubt about the authenticity of a note, they can always decline it and ask for another payment method.”

For more information on how to identify counterfeit notes visit for Bank of England notes or for Scottish notes.

Only a small percentage of the bank notes in circulation are counterfeit, police are reminding people.