Fake £50 note left Surfleet mum in tears

Nicki Cooke (left) and niece Reanna Cooke with the fake �50 banknote.
Nicki Cooke (left) and niece Reanna Cooke with the fake �50 banknote.

A single mum lost her day’s takings when she handed over change for a £50 note – and the note turned out to be a fake.

Nicki Cooke (37) opened her A16 roadside cafe near Surfleet roundabout, The Nosh Box, nine weeks ago.

I just stood there and cried. It was just a kick in the teeth, really. Not only that I have had my table and chairs pinched since then.

Nicki Cooke

Her suspicions were aroused when a man she describes as in his late 20s, plump and with dark hair, offered her the note in payment for two bacon and egg baps at about 1.30pm on Tuesday.

Nicki told the man she stood to lose her day’s takings if the note turned out to be a fake, but he replied he would be the bigger loser because he’d just accepted £4,000 worth of the notes in exchange for a car he sold.

The note passed Nicki’s fake note detector pen test and she accepted it because she thought to herself “not everyone’s dodgy”.

The man left in a small white car and, after closing at 2pm, Nicki went to her local Post Office in Surfleet where it was confirmed the note was a fake.

Nicki said: “I just stood there and cried. It was just a kick in the teeth, really. Not only that I have had my table and chairs pinched since then.”

Nicki, a former agency worker in Peterborough, only pays herself £50 in wages from the business each week.

Her four children are aged from three to 18 and she also looks after her niece, Reanna (18), who helps out at The Nosh Box when not at college.

Nicki says her Post Office rumbled the fake £50 because it doesn’t have holograms in a strip of five green windows. 
The Bank of England advice is to check the motion thread, which is woven into the paper, in this area. 
The windows themselves contain images of the £ symbol and the number 50 – and these images move up and down when the note is tilted from side to side. 
A spokesman for Lincolnshire Police urged anyone in receipt of fake bank notes to report incidents to them. Nicki asked the Free Press to put out a warning to other businesses so they are not caught out in the same way.

To check on ways to spot fake notes, visit www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/Pages/about/counterfeits.aspx