Cafe owner’s warning over fake bank notes

Sam Wilson
Sam Wilson

A Wigan cafe owner is warning businesses to be extra vigilant after she has been targeted by thieves three times since opening last year.

Burglars ransacked Cafe Frilis, in Library Street, last month and staff have also been conned by being given fake notes.

I want to warn people and encourage firms to get a pen or a scanner to check notes. Staff need to check the notes and if in doubt - don’t accept them.

Sam Wilson

Owner Sam Wilson wants to alert other shops and firms in the town centre about fraudulent behaviour.

She said: “I arrived to open up on April 13 and found the door was open and there was lots of damage.

“The alarm was going off, which must have deterred the burglars, as they didn’t get much.

“They took the till drawer, but it only had £4-worth of copper coins.

“But the fact that so much damage was done and I had to replace my till and door, costing me more than £1,000, was the sickener. I have only been open for 11 months.

“And if that was not enough I have been handed some forged notes, meaning I am down on money.

“I have been targeted by this three times now.

“There have been a lot of fake £20 notes at the moment and I was also given a fake £50. I now no longer accept £50 notes. I have a special pen to check but it failed to spot these notes, they were that good. Scanners are really expensive to buy.

“It now makes me worry and doubt everyone that comes in, which I don’t want to do. It may also mean I lose customers if they don’t have any other notes.

“I want to warn people and encourage firms to get a pen or a scanner to check notes. Staff need to check the notes and if in doubt - don’t accept them.”

Greater Manchester Police have reviewed CCTV footage of the burglary on April 13 and it is believed an arrest has been made.

A genuine banknote has a cloth-like feel, while a fake note will feel more like paper and untextured.

A metallic thread is woven through the paper - not just printed on - so when held up to the light it should appear as a continuous dark line.

When held up to the light, an image of the Queen’s portrait should be seen. If the watermark is visible when the note is flat and not held up to the light, it’s likely to be a fake.

Anyone who may have information can call Police on 0161 856 50 50 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.