Police forces around Cumbria have deployed more officers and warned the public to be on their guard after a slew of fake £20 notes were found in the area, timesandstar.co.uk reports.
Officers from the Allerdale Rural Policing Team, located in west Cumbria, are investigating a total of four incidents from the local area where thieves tried to pass off forged £20 notes in local shops.
Many of the reported incidents have been in the Keswick and Cockermouth areas, although there is concern it could spread further afield in the coming weeks.
Following the reports of forged notes, police officers have taken to the streets of west Cumbria and have urged anyone with any information to call 101. In the meantime, local businesses have been warned to remain vigilant and should ensure they have proper cash management tools in place to identify any forgeries trying to be passed off as the recent thing.
Speaking to itv.com, PC Alan Taylor of Cumbria Police explained: "In light of the recent incidents involving counterfeit notes we are urging members of the public and business owners to be vigilant against accepting notes of a suspicious nature.
"If retailers are concerned that currency may be counterfeit we advise them not to accept it and to report the matter to the police."
PC Taylor went on to explain that the area was heading into an extremely busy time of year with people taking the opportunity to visit during school holidays. This, he claimed, prompts opportunistic criminals to see this as a time to target businesses, so they should be extra careful.