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Counterfeit bills circulating in North Okanagan

Police have seen numerous fakes since May 5, most of which are Canadian $50 bills
Vernon police have noticed a rise in counterfeit bills in the North Okanagan, most of which are Canadian $50 bills, since May 5, 2022. (RCMP photo)

Police in Vernon are giving the public a heads up after noticing a rise in counterfeit cash circulating in the North Okanagan

Since May 5, there have been numerous reports to police of counterfeit bills turning up at North Okanagan banks. Police say most of the fakes have been Canadian $50 bills, but several U.S. $100 bills ans Canadian $5 bills have also been found.

It’s not known if the reported transactions are related at this point, police say.

“Canadian currency in general has several unique security features designed to prevent counterfeiting,” said media relations officer Const. Chris Terleski. “By far, the most recognizable feature is that Canadian currency is made from polymer, not paper and the difference is immediately noticeable. The holograms in real currency are embedded, fakes will have them taped or glued leaving an unfinished, rough edge. These differences are easy to spot if you know what you are looking for.”

To guard against getting duped by a counterfeit bill, the Vernon RCMP have a few recommendations. The first is to be wary of people using large bills to make small purchases, as fraudsters often use this trick to make off with the most real currency possible.

If you suspect a person has given a counterfeit bill, politely refuse the transaction and ask for another bill or form of payment, remembering that the person may have no idea the bill is counterfeit.

Business owners can also provide staff with information and training on how to spot counterfeit bills, and develop store policies around accepting larger cash denominations, such as asking for ID.

More information on counterfeit currency can be found on the Bank of Canada website.

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Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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