CASH counterfeiters seem to be targeting Huddersfield with fake notes.
Shopkeepers and other businesses have long been concerned about fake £20 notes, but the criminals now appear to be hitting the area with smaller denominations.
The manager of one store has spoken out to warn others.
Nav Uppal, manager of the Nisa store in Honley, said: "We are seeing fake tenners and fivers at the rate of around one a week now.
"It always used to be £20 notes, but we are seeing fewer of those now and more of the small denominations.
"We have certainly seen a noticeable rise since Christmas and we have customers trying to spend a counterfeit note at least once a week.
"Often they are totally innocent and had been passed it with change elsewhere.’’
Mr Uppal added: "We handle money all the time and the fake notes often feel different – usually shinier.’’
He said the words Bank Of England are slightly raised on genuine notes and smooth on the fake ones.
He also revealed that the Queen’s head watermark is clear on the genuine notes when held up to the light, yet often smudged on the illegal notes.
Mr Uppal said the silver strip on the back of the note is actually sewn into the note, but if it is held up to the light it appears to run as one line.
And new notes have holograms, but on counterfeit notes these can sometimes be even peeled off.
"The final check we do is to put the note under ultra-violet light,’’ he said. "Fake ones will shine up whereas genuine ones don’t.
"If we come across someone with a counterfeit note we cannot confiscate it. We can only advise them to take the note to the police or a bank.’’