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Selby shops on alert over fake £20 notes
SHOPKEEPERS in Selby have been urged to be on the lookout for fake £20 notes after a fraudster conned a charity shop in the town.
Staff at Scope, in Gowthorpe did not realise they had been given two fake notes until the customer had left the shop.
Lisa Haywood, shop manager, said: “It is truly shocking to think anyone would use counterfeit money in our shop when every penny of profit we make supports our work with disabled people and their families.
“Our staff and volunteers will be using a counterfeit detection pen and have been made aware to contact police if they come across what they suspect to be fake bank notes or coins.”
The incident took place last Thursday.
A police spokesman said at least two other shops in Gowthorpe, including Sainsbury’s, had been targeted in the space of a few hours.
The suspect entered Heaven & Home, yards from the Scope shop, and used one of the fake notes to purchase a greeting card before leaving with the change.
Richard Schofield, owner of Heaven & Home, said: “This hasn’t been a common occurence, but retailers should always be aware of high denomination notes being used for low value items.
“The use of an infra-red system or cheap detector pen would easily highlight these forgeries.
“It’s a shame on this occasion that it slipped through the net.”
The offender was described by staff as male, about six feet tall, of a heavy build with a shaved head and aged about 45.
A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said: “Any fraud is clearly a burden on business, but to defraud a charity helping some of the most vulnerable members of society is an absolute disgrace.”