A WILSDEN man was left nearly £400 out of pocket by a brazen couple who paid for his old TV with fake notes.

Anthony Corby, 58, said the incident occurred on Tuesday and that he and his wife only realised something was wrong ten minutes after the exchange took place.

Mr Corby, who was hoping to use the money to fund the rebuild of his classic Mini, said the young couple were supposedly from Wakefield.

He said: “I’d put an advert on Gumtree to sell my old TV and the couple contacted us, saying they were from Horbury, and came round on Tuesday.

“My wife and I took no notice first when they handed over the money, but we soon realised something didn’t look right.

“They gave me £400 – £380 of it was in fake £20 notes that turned out just to be pieces of paper made to look like real money.

“They were so quick in getting away and I couldn’t chase after them because my car was down at the garage.

“I wouldn’t use Gumtree to sell things like this again and I’d make sure to transfer it securely rather than cash in hand.”

Speaking about the couple who had taken the TV, he said: “I had a message on Wednesday night saying that they thought they’d seen the couple in Birkby (Huddersfield), maybe trying to sell on the TV.

“They were driving a blue Daewoo. The man was in his 30s and the woman was blonde.

“They’d left a number so I tried to ring it after I realised what had happened but it went straight through to an automated Vodafone message.

“It looks they’d bought a throwaway phone or changed the SIM.”

Mr Corby, who spoke to officers at Keighley police station yesterday afternoon, said he had been given a vital piece of information which could protect people from being defrauded in future.

He said: “When I went to put diesel in my car, the people at the garage said the way to tell if notes are fake is that they all have the same serial number.”

The Bank of England offers these security tips in checking £20 notes to ensure you are not caught out like Mr Corby:

* Watermark; Hold the note up to the light to see the Queen’s portrait and a bright £20.

* Holographic strip; The strip has a number of foil patches along its length which contain alternating holographic images. When you tilt the note, one hologram shows a multi-coloured image of Adam Smith.

* You will feel raised print in areas such as the words ‘Bank of England’ and in the bottom right hand corner, around the number 20.

* Look at the front of the note under a good-quality ultraviolet light, to see the number 20 appear in bright red and green.

* A metallic thread appears as silver dashes on the back of the note. If you hold the note up to the light, the thread appears as a continuous dark line.

* Use a magnifying glass to look closely at the lettering beneath the Queen’s portrait. You will see the value of the note in small letters and numbers.

A West Yorkshire Police statement said: “Police were called at about 5.23pm on July 2 to a report of a fraud offence in Wilsden in which cash believed to be forged was used by a man and woman to pay for a TV. An appointment was made for Keighley officers to speak with the victim to get further details.”