POLICE have urged retailers and shoppers to beware of forged currency.
A number of incidents have been reported in the Northumbria Police area in recent weeks where forged notes were handed over to shopkeepers.
In Morpeth, counterfeit £20 notes were reported by several local businesses.
Inquiries are ongoing into the incidents and arrests have been made.
But officers say people should continue to stay alert.
DCI Andy Potts said: “I’d ask the public to be extra vigilant when receiving £20 notes and to make sure they are authentic.
“It’s also worth reminding people to take some other simple steps with their money this festive period.
“When they’re visiting cashpoints people should ensure no one is watching them entering their PIN.
We’d urge people using a cashpoint to be cautious and report anything that looks out of the ordinary with the machines.”
He added: “People should avoid carrying too much cash and if they carry a bag it should be zipped closed with the opening turned towards them.”
The message ties in with the force’s Don’t Let Thieves Steal Your Christmas campaign to try to reduce crime.
For more crime prevention advice visit www.northumbria.police.uk