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Police have warned Newry's shoppers and business owners to be wary of counterfeit bank notes in the run up to Christmas. PSNI Crime prevention officer Constable Alex Swan has advised business owners to make staff aware of criminals attempting to pass counterfeit notes in their premises. "As shops fill up with Christmas shoppers, now is the time to make staff, particularly checkout staff, aware of what to look out for and what to do should a counterfeit note be passed," he said. "We don't want to see traders suffer any financial loss and this is why it is important that traders check each banknote tendered as payment for goods. And carrying out the necessary checks also serves as a deterrent to criminals attempting to pass counterfeit notes." He urged everyone to examine the feel of the note, its printing, the watermark and the thread which is interwoven in all genuine notes. "Those who handle cash transactions should not rely solely upon special equipment or one single feature to identify a genuine banknote but should check all the features," he added. "If in doubt, compare a suspect note to one that is known to be genuine as this can often help to determine the authenticity of a note. A counterfeit bank note should not be returned to the person passing it." The officer reminded members of the public that it is a criminal offence to keep or try to pass banknotes they know or suspect to be counterfeit. "If you inadvertently receive a note that you believe to be counterfeit, you should take it to the nearest police station as quickly as possible," he explained
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