Shoppers and traders are on high alert after two men tried to use counterfeit cash.
At least two shops in Hampton Hill High Street were targeted by fraudsters who used fake £20 notes to buy goods on Thursday, January 10.
Susan Harris from the Daisy Chain café lost £40 after a shop assistant accepted two notes in the space of an hour.
She said: “It’s never the big shops, unfortunately, it’s always the local traders. It just makes you untrusting of people, which is a real shame.
“Touch wood we have been here 11 years and it’s never happened to us before. But we do hear of it quite a lot.”
Robsons butchers and deli raised the alarm after it caught out one of the men when he tried to buy something with a false note.
Owner Norma Henning said: “They spotted the note and the guy said his boss gave it to him. He just bought one small item with the note so we always check things like that.
“We saw one guy, young, wearing casual clothes but he didn’t look scruffy or anything.
“It happens quite regularly to be honest.”
Police said no arrests had been made and enquiries were ongoing.
Both men were white, aged between 17 and 25, of slim to medium build, with short brown hair and one was wearing a blue-green jacket.
Police warned residents by tweeting: “Be aware of suspects trying to use fake £20 notes to pay of goods. If you suspect someone has fake bank notes call police on 999.”