FAKE Bank of Ireland notes are in circulation, police have warned.

Traders and members of the public are being alerted about a batch of counterfeit £50 notes in Hampshire.

The counterfeit notes feature an old design, don't have a hologram and are green in colour.

Police say only purple £50 notes should be accepted. If a green note is given, it should be declined.

All genuine sterling features a watermark and the name of the bank in raised print. Each note has an individual serial number.

Hampshire police say two men with strong Irish accents used counterfeit £50 notes to buy low-value goods on January 17.

The first suspect has a shaved head, a 'nicely-shaped' beard and was wearing black clothing. The second has an untidy beard and was wearing grey jogging bottoms and Nike trainers.