Three suspects sought in counterfeit cash con - but could you tell the difference between what is real and what is fake?

An image of one of the fake notes police discovered. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

An image of one of the fake notes police discovered. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary - Credit: Archant

A boy believed to be as young as 15-years-old is one of three suspects police are trying to trace in connection with the discovery of counterfeit cash which has left businesses across north Norfolk out of pocket.

Police are warning the public to be vigilant after the fake Scottish notes were found in circulation in North Walsham, East Runton, Mattishall and Sheringham just days apart between March 3 and 9.

A chemist, newsagents, pub and tearoom were among the businesses targeted.

Police have released details of three suspects they want to talk to.

The two older men are believed to be aged between 18 and 20. One was wearing a black tracksuit with grey left leg, black baseball cap, and black 'North Face' jacket; while the other, was wearing a black tracksuit with white stripe down the side of the leg, and was sporting black Adidas trainers.

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The youngest of the three suspects also had short brown hair, shorter than the other two, and was wearing a dark grey jacket.

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101.

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Meanwhile, shop workers are being asked to check for counterfeit cash - but could you tell the difference? Police have issued these helpful tips on what to look for...

Watermark – genuine watermarks should be hardly apparent until the note is held up to the light when the clear portrait with subtle light and shade becomes visible.

Security thread – genuine notes have a metallic thread embedded in the paper and when the note is held up to the light the thread appears as a bold continuous line.

Printing – raised print is used in some of the features on genuine banknotes and should feel slightly rough to the touch. Lines and print should be sharp and well defined with no blurred edges. Colours should be clear and distinct – not hazy. The wording on genuine RBS banknotes is in raised print.

Move/Tilt – if a genuine note bears a hologram the colours/images will change depending on the angle the note is held.

Detector Pen – when applied; detector pens leave a dark line on most counterfeit notes; if the note is genuine the pen leaves no mark. You can mark a suspect banknote diagonally from corner to corner

UV Light – genuine banknotes are dull under a UV light with only the special UV features present in the note highlighted yellow

Magnifying Glass – Genuine notes contain some microprint that is only visible using a magnifying glass. On a genuine note the print should be sharp and well defined with no blurred edges. On RBS banknotes microprint features within the block of colour at the bottom of the front of the note and should read 'RBSRBSRBSRBS' and the line above this block of colour should read 'The Royal Bank of Scotland'.

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