Newport charity shop targeted with counterfeit coins

Red Cross charity shop in Newport

Islanders are being urged to keep an eye on their change after a number of counterfeit coins have been used to purchase goods on the Isle of Wight.

Following the introduction of the new £1 coin, which was circulated to help combat fake coins, counterfeiters are now turning their attention to the bigger £2 coins.

There is understood to be hundreds of thousands of fake two pound coins in circulation and most of them originate from China, where so-called ‘replicas’ are manufactured and sold legally inside their own country.

The Red Cross charity shop in Newport is no longer accepting the coins ‘for the ‘foreseeable future’ due to the number of fakes they have already received.

One shopper told the Observer: “I was in the Red Cross Charity Shop where there was a notice on the counter refusing £2 coins due to a large number of fakes being tendered.

“I enquired about this and was told they had £14 of fakes refused by the bank. I was shown a fake they retained and I could not tell the difference at first glance. Maybe they are lighter in weight.”

A spokesperson for the charity shop said “We had a number of counterfeit coins that were retained by the bank as the bank do not honour them. For the foreseeable future we are not accepting them”

How to spot a fake coin

Many of the forgeries can be spotted by performing a number of visual checks:

  • The inner core isn’t quite flush with the gold-coloured outer ring. Fake £2 coins often miss the fine dots around the perimeter of the inner core.
  • A counterfeit £2 piece has a lack of detail on the Queen’s portrait. There’s little texture to her hair, and her crown isn’t distinct from her hair.
  • Some fake £2 coins are missing the initials of the designer below the Queen’s portrait.
  • The details on the reverse side of a fake 2 pound coin are less clear. On a genuine £2 coin you can see tiny cogwheels, where as on a fake £2 coin you can’t.

Anyone who comes across counterfeit coins is encouraged to hand them in at their local police station. The problem is that the coins are confiscated and the person loses out.