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:

We also have free educational materials to help you check your banknotes.

Counterfeit prevention - advice for retailers and businesses

All current Bank of England banknotes – key security features

Please also see individual films of the key security features on the £5, £10, £20 and £50.

Online banknote training

This highlights the security and design features of our banknotes and includes a short test. It takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.

Banknote training

Banknote app

This app contains full details of the security features on all banknotes, together with a range of other useful advice and information about our banknotes.

AppleDownload on the App Store

AndroidDownload for Android

The Bank of England does not collect any personal data through your use of these Apps. You may want to review the Apple Privacy policy which can be found here and the Google Play Privacy policy which can be found here.

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 November 2018
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