Holidaymakers returning from Europe are trying to pass off euro coins as the new pound coins in British shops because they look so similar.
Shopkeepers are warning staff to be vigilant after noticing the huge increase in one euro coins being found in takings.
Landlord of the Peaky Blinder pub in Birmingham Tom O’Rourke noticed the euro coins as soon as the new pound coins came into circulation.
He said: ‘I’ve had to tell my bar staff to keep an eye out because it was getting beyond a joke.
‘The new pound coin and euro coin are too similar, as banks and bureau de changes only exchange notes people coming off their holidays trying and pass them off as pounds.
‘Whether it is returning holidaymakers or people who have them lying about the house the new pound coin seemed to give them an open goal to get rid of them.’
‘They only have to slip them in with several other pound coins and most shop staff wouldn’t notice because they look so similar.’
He added: ‘The only silver lining is the euro is near enough worth the same as sterling now so I have been saving them for the next time I go on holiday.’
Coventry shopkeeper Mohammed Iqbal added: ‘Every chance my customers have to cut a corner or rip me off they seem to do so and now the latest way seems to be swapping pound coins to euro coins.
‘If they put one euro in with several new pound coins it is hard to spot, it is mostly just me in the shop so I think I might have to get some new spectacles.
‘Why on earth would you make a pound coin so similar to the euro?’
Today the U.S. investment bank Morgan Stanley predicted the Euro would hit $1.25 early next year and be one-for-one with sterling for the first time in its 18-year history.
The Royal Mint introduced the new 12 sided pound coin on March 28 this year and the old coin will cease to be legal tender on October 15.
A spokesman said: ‘The final specification of the coin and method of introduction were decided after a ten-week public consultation which looked at the physical and material characteristics of the coin, as well as the parameters for the transition
‘Following the coin’s introduction on 28 March, we are now in a six month period when the current round £1 coin and the new 12-sided £1 coin are in circulation at the same time.’