Although the euro comes with a mass of security features, it is a fact that there will be copies in circulation and, in the early days, before people grow accustomed to its face, even the bad counterfeits will be accepted as genuine. It is reckoned that more than half of Britain's leading retailers will accept the euro by next year ­ leading to what Whitehall sources have labelled euro-creep' and general acceptance of the currency. Marks & Spencer, WH Smith, Safeway and BP have already included themselves among that number. Sainsbury and Tesco will also be accepting the coins ­ at least from their trolleys. The growing number of UK retailers will opt to accept the euro, either because of their tourist trade ­ mindful that 300 million people in 12 of the 15 EU member states are using it on a daily basis ­ or because they recognise the inevitability of our joining. They will undoubtedly be targeted with duds. The UK, once the centre of the printing industry for all of Europe, houses some very experienced forgers, some of whom are no doubt studying hard, if not already producing their own take' on the euro. The police reckon that around one per cent of the money in circulation in the UK is fake and certainly every store has had dodgy notes pass through, or stop, in their tills. Counterfeiting penalises the one left holding the money. You can't hand it in expecting a reward, or even get your money back. No doubt you have shown your staff how to spot duff, homegrown varieties. Now you should follow the steps below to make sure you are not one of the first to succumb to fake euros. l Feel the note and its raised print. Real notes are made of cotton so they should feel different to paper. l Hold the note up to the light to see the watermark, the security thread and the see-through register. All three features can be seen from both the front and the reverse side of genuine notes. l Tilt the banknote. On the front you will see the shifting image on the hologram foil stripe (on low-value notes) or the hologram foil patch (on high-value notes). l On the reverse side, if you tilt the note you can see the brilliance of the iridescent stripe (on low-value notes) and the colour-shifting ink (on high-value notes). According to the London-based Euro Information Centre, euro coins are being produced to advanced technical specifications that should make reproduction difficult and easy-to-detect. Particular care has been taken, says a spokeswoman, with the euro 1 and euro 2 coins. These are produced using sophisticated bi-metal technology. You will find lettering around the edge of the euro 2 coin. Euro coins can now be used in vending machines throughout the Eurozone area irrespective of the member state that issued them. {{GROCER CLUB }}