Shoppers in Moray have been urged to check their change amid reports of a large amount of fake £2 coins in the region.
The counterfeits have been reported to Elgin’s business improvement district (Bid) amid concerns they could hit firms across the town.
It is not known how many have been discovered but the total has been described as “a wave” affecting the area.
The sophisticated fakes are described as having the gold rim rubbing off while the silver centre is a dull grey.
It is understood that the money has the same weight as the genuine article in order to slip through detection on coin scales in shops.
Yesterday, Gill Neill, manager of Elgin Bid, encouraged shoppers and retailers to check the money they were receiving.
She said: “It’s been reported to us by the local Santander branch, which has seen a lot of them coming into them so they must be in circulation.
“It’s important that all shops know about things like this so they can be vigilant when handling change. It’s obviously important for shoppers too.
“We’ve put out an urgent notice to all our members to ensure they know about them.”
Last night police explained that shoppers should take extra precautions to ensure that they do not fall victim or any forgeries.
A spokeswoman said: “Members of the public and in particular retail workers who handle cash sales should thoroughly check bank notes and coins before handing over change to ensure they are not fraudulent.
“Anyone who deliberately uses counterfeit currency is committing a crime and we will thoroughly investigate all instances reported to us.”
Anyone who suspects they have received a fake coin or note should contact police by calling 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 to remain anonymous.