Police in Staffordshire are warning local businesses to be on their guard against forged bank notes across Staffordshire.
This news comes after there was a reported recent increase in the town of Stafford.
Over recent weeks a number of local businesses have accepted forged bank notes without realising, putting them out of pocket.
Those involved in the scam tend to visit local pubs and shops and purchase a low-value item like a bag of crisps or a drink.
They then pay with a usually a forged £20 or £50 note to get as much profit for themselves.
Their aim is to receive the appropriate change of legal money and leave quickly.
One man believed to be involved in the scam has been described as being slim, wearing a pork pie hat, dark-coloured thick-rimmed glasses, and either a styled beard or shaped sideburns.
He also has an Eastern European accent.
Police fear the forged notes are now all over the UK, hitting businesses hard and damaging the economy.
Officers are currently investigating the matter and are continuing to remind businesses of what to do if they fall victim to this type of fraud.
Forged bank notes should be put into a bag to preserve any fingerprint evidence and reported to police on 101.
It is also an offence to pass on a forged note to someone else.
For the latest advice on how to check bank notes, visit the Bank of England website for guidance and free online training resources to share with your staff.