The National Crime Agency is warning local retailers and the public about a batch of counterfeit Bank of Ireland £50 notes that are being passed by Irish men in Hampshire.

The counterfeit notes are of an old design, do not feature a hologram and are green in colour.

Police are advising people to only accept the new style purple £50 as shown below:

Andover Advertiser:

A police spokesperson said: "If anyone passes or attempts to pass you the old style green £50 note, this should be declined and consideration given to contacting the police.

"All genuine sterling (£) notes feature a watermark and the name of the bank in raised print and each note has an individual serial number."

Security features to check on a note include the watermark, hologram, security thread of a series of dashers which become a solid line and raised print.

More information on the features can be found here.

The advice follows the Hampshire Constabulary warning about two men with strong Irish accents who entered stores in Kings Worthy and Alresford on Wednesday 17 January and bought low value goods with £50 notes.

A description of the two men has been issued, with suspect one having a shaved head, a nicely shaped beard, wearing all black clothing, a hoodie underneath his jacket and Nike trainers with white soles and shorter than the second suspect.

The second suspect has a number four grade hair style, untidy beard and was wearing grey jogging bottoms, Nike trainers with white soles, a black jacket with black hoodie underneath and another layer of grey clothing.

Anyone with information about people making or using counterfeit bank notes, contact local police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.