Police Scotland is warning Midlothian shop owners to be vigilant following a number of incidents where counterfeit banknotes have been used at shops in Loanhead.
A total of 12 counterfeit Royal Bank of Scotland £20 notes have been passed to a variety of retailers in the town in the last few weeks.
All but one of these notes have been successfully used to purchase goods.
PC Frances Little said: “There is a significant difference in quality compared to genuine notes, nonetheless they have been successfully passed on a number of occasions, and we are warning shop owners and staff to be vigilant.
“Looking at the paper quality, print quality metallic security thread and watermark are three simple ways of checking if a note is counterfeit. Counterfeit banknote detection pens are available at low cost, and are easy to use.
“If anyone suspects they have been handed a fake note, then they should seize it and contact the police. It is a criminal offence to hold or pass a note that you know to be counterfeit.”
Anyone who would like further crime prevention advice should contact their local Community Officer, who will arrange a suitable appointment.
If anyone has any information about counterfeit notes being used in the area, they should contact Police Scotland on 101, or make an anonymous report through Crimestoppers in 0800 555 111.