How to check your banknotes

Learn how to check if your banknotes are genuine or counterfeit.


You can see close-ups of all our banknotes, including details of their security features, in our banknote guides:

Online banknote training

The training highlights the security features on our notes, which you can use to check your notes are genuine.  We also offer advice and a short test to check your understanding. It takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.

Banknote training

Free banknote education materials

Watch our short film which covers the key security features on all our current banknotes:

Download our free education materials to help check your banknotes.

You can also order our free education materials online

Order materials

Please note: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, our distributor has temporarily stopped delivering orders. You can still place an order which will be fulfilled as soon as possible. Alternatively, please download our PDF versions. Sorry for any inconvenience.

What do I do if I get a counterfeit banknote?

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 you have information about someone making, selling or using counterfeit banknotes, please contact the police or phone Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Counterfeiting directly funds organised crime. It hurts the UK economy by creating losses for businesses, which ultimately affects the cost of things that we buy. It also affects the pocket of anyone who receives a counterfeit note, as they are worthless. If you report counterfeiting to the police, you are helping with investigations and alerting them to a problem in their area. This means that they can take action to protect your community.

This page was last updated 01 April 2020
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