CHRISTMAS shoppers are being urged to report fake banknotes this season in a new campaign.

Crimestoppers have launched its fifth annual campaign to crackdown on counterfeit cash this Christmas and is appealing to shoppers for more information on those who may be making, buying or selling fake banknotes.

In the first half of 2018, Crimestoppers say that around 223,000 fake banknotes with a face value of £5 million were taken out of circulation.

The aim of the campaign is to make sure that the public are vigilant and check notes - especially £20 and £50.

Dave Hunter, head of operations at Crimestoppers said: “The purpose of this campaign is to protect the public as we head into the festive season when money can be tight, but also to highlight that this is not a victimless crime.

“Our charity takes information 100% anonymously.

"Always. I would ask anyone who has information on those making, buying or selling fake bank notes to speak up to help keep your community safe from these heartless and callous fraudsters.

"No-one will know you contacted us, and you may prevent someone’s Christmas from being ruined.”

Many retailers, charities, businesses, schools and older people have been conned out of money by people using fake notes with a recent example seeing an 87-year-old man conned into handing over genuine cash in exchange for a fake £50.

The victim was asked to break the note for change so the fraudster could get a taxi, only to find out later when he tried to spend it that the note was fake.

For more information on how to check bank notes can be found via

Anyone with information on those making, selling or buying counterfeit notes should contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through the anonymous online form at