Belfast Telegraph

Newry shop duped by €100 in toy money - you've got to be kidding

By Chris Kilpatrick

Can you tell the difference between real money and children's toy notes?

One trader in Newry has been duped by an opportunist scammer and is now more than £70 out of pocket.

The fake €100 note, branded with the logo of a well-known toy company, was handed over at the takeaway, reportedly to pay for a sandwich.

As well as the food, the thief was given change from the toy note and left the premises.

Police have urged other business owners not to be caught out by the same trick.

A police officer posted a picture of the dud currency on the force's Facebook page, adding: "Have a good, close look. Yep you are right you know, it's a pretend 100 euro note from a leading kiddies toy store.

"So why do we have it in an evidence bag I hear you query? Well it's in an evidence bag because it's evidence. Evidence of the offence of tendering counterfeit currency.

"I know, I know a kids play note counterfeit currency? Well believe it or not this was actually accepted as payment recently in business premises in Newry".

The notes are part of a toy pack to teach children the value of different coins and notes. The whole pack can be bought for just £4 and includes euro and sterling.

But, according to police, it is shop staff who need to ensure they know the difference between legal tender and replicas.

The PSNI added: "If you work in a cash-handling job please take five seconds to check all notes you are accepting, the first check would be look at the thing.

"The second would be to swipe a counterfeit detector pen across it, you can buy these online for pennies.

"Then consider the feel of the note.

"Clearly no checks were done on this note and that business is now €100 down plus the value of the goods it was used to 'pay' for. Isn't it as well the pound is pretty strong against the euro!"

Factfile

The notes were part of a toy pack to teach children the value of different coins and notes. It can be bought for just £4 and includes euro and sterling.

The company which sells the money, available from its website, states: "Perfect for when playing shops, this fun play money set includes a credit card, cheque book, sterling notes, euro notes, sterling coins and euro coins.

"Great for learning about money and working out change."

Police warned others not to be taken in.

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