10 April 2012
Recognizing Counterfeit Money
Written by Michelle
Last week, the Bank of Canada released the new $50 bank note into circulation. Have you had the chance to see one yet?
The new $50 is a polymer bank note made of a more durable material. It has what the Bank of Canada describes as “a unique combination of state-of-the-art security features, making them the most secure bank notes ever issued in Canada”. Last year, over 50,000 counterfeit banknotes were circulated within Canada. This is actually a small amount when you consider that over 500,000 counterfeit notes were circulation within Canada in 2004. Counterfeit money is expensive for all Canadians because the costs associated drive consumer prices higher.
Familiarizing yourself with what a genuine bank note looks like is one way to protect yourself against fraud. The new $50 bank note has a few new security features including transparent window, metallic ink, and hidden numbers. You can find a list of the new security features on the Bank of Canada’s “Polymer Series” webpage. You will also find a video there that walks you through these features.
If you are presented with currency which you suspect is counterfeit, here are some suggestions on how to approach the situation:
• If you are in a safe place, refuse the note as you suspect it may be counterfeit.
• Request a different note and check to see if it is genuine.
• Suggest the person bring the suspicious note to the local police.
• Inform your local police of a possible attempt to pass suspected counterfeit money.
Keep in mind that the person who is in possession of the bill could be an innocent victim who themselves did not know that the bill is counterfeit. If you receive counterfeit money after a transaction is complete, bring the money down to the local police. If the money is real, you’ll get it back.
We all have a responsibility to fight against fraud. Ensuring that we are familiar with our money makes us smart and savvy consumers.
For more information on the new $50 bank note visit the Bank of Canada’s website.
Published in Tips.
Michelle works in the Consumer Protection BC Inquiry Centre. She answers calls and emails from consumers and businesses on a wide variety of topics which makes her the perfect person to share her knowledge and experiences with you.