Orillia, ON - Police are warning Ontario residents of counterfeit currency making
the rounds, which can leave consumers and vendors as victims in its wake.
Since the beginning of 2017, Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have received 82 reports
of counterfeit bills in its West Region alone, ranging in value from 5-dollar to
100-dollar bills in Canadian and United States banknotes.
The OPP is partnering with the Bank of Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
(RCMP) to educate citizens and business owners about how to spot counterfeit currency
and what to do when they encounter fake cash. The RCMP reports 17,504 counterfeit
Canadian banknotes passed in 2016 - 3,934 of those (roughly 22 percent) were passed
When dealing with someone who is attempting to pass counterfeit bank notes, cash
handlers must ensure their own safety first. Here are some things you can look for:
- Be especially careful during busy periods, when counterfeit notes are more likely
to be passed;
- Be wary of customers who want to pay with much higher denominations of bills than
- If possible, keep the suspicious bank note and record all relevant information about
the bill and the person, such as denomination, serial number, time, context, physical
descriptions, and vehicles and licence plates;
- Contact your local police service;
- Give the suspicious bank note to the police and request a receipt - if the note
is genuine, it will be returned to you.
- Remember, someone passing a counterfeit bank note may not be aware it is phoney
- he or she could also be an unwitting victim of crime.
Check Your Cash
Even with new technology, no counterfeiter is able to produce an exact duplicate
of a genuine bank note - a counterfeit is always an inferior copy of the original.
At first glance, a good counterfeit looks like 'the real deal.' But if you know
what to look for - and feel for - it only takes a few seconds to detect a fake.
Read more about Canadian bank note security features at the Bank of Canada website.
- The Bank of Canada is the only institution legally authorized to issue Canadian
- $75-billion worth of Canadian banknotes are currently in circulation. The most frequently
used denominations are 20-dollar and 100-dollar bills.
- Large scale counterfeit currency activity in Canada is usually facilitated by organized
crime groups involved in other criminal acti vities including, weapons offences,
drugs and identity theft.
- Possession, use or creation of counterfeit currency is an indictable offence punishable
upon conviction by up to 14 years in prison.
"Counterfeit deterrence requires a team approach from all partners including law
enforcement agencies, the Bank of Canada, retailers and the public working together.
If you come across phoney money, contact your local police service." -- Chief Superintendent
J.E. (John) Tod, OPP Investigation and Support Bureau
OPP Contact Information