Florist-owner Lauren Purdy realised almost immediately that a £50 note used by a stranger in her shop was a fake, but not before the man had got away.
But 29-year-old Lauren, who owns Flora and Nora florists in Tarrant Street in Arundel, is not alone. At least one other Arundel store has realised too late that a £50 note was a forgery in recent days.
Lauren was working as usual yesterday morning when a man she did not know came into the shop and made to purchase a plant and gift card worth £8 in total, she said.
“He pretended he did not have his wallet and then stumbled across the £50 note in his back pocket,” said Lauren.
“I held it up to the light, it had the watermark and everything.”
But after he had left something didn’t feel right, so she did a further check on the note and made the unpleasant discovery.
“The transaction did not feel comfortable, it all felt a bit off. I looked at it again and realised.
“I rushed outside and looked up and down the road and he wasn’t there,” Lauren said.
“I felt really taken advantage of, he just walked out with £42 of my hard-earned cash.
Lauren criticised the fact the ‘very very good fake’ note was used at a small business, rather than a larger supermarket where the loss would have less impact.
She described it as a ‘personal attack’, made worse by the fact that today is her birthday.
“At least I started my day with cake,” she added.
The £42 of genuine cash the man was given in change for the counterfeit note adds up to almost a day’s wages, Lauren said.
Refusing to continue the cycle, Lauren reported the incident to police and later destroyed the fake banknote: “I took it out of circulation and I burned it,” she said.
She will no longer be accepting £50 notes from strangers, she said.
Another Arundel businessowner, who asked to remain anonymous, also realised that a £50 note a customer used was a forgery.
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