The RCMP British Columbia has asked businesses to be on the lookout for counterfeit banknotes after a recent spike in fake bills hit communities in interior BC this month.
According to a report published by the Vernon Morning Star, the RCMP have received 23 complaints of counterfeit currency in communities such as Lake Country, Salmon Arm, Olivier, Osoyoos, Okanagan Falls, Penticton, West Kelowna and Kamloops.
All of these communities have reported fake banknotes in the $20, $50, and $100 denominations all from the Canadian Journey Series – a series that was available between 2001 and 2006.
The Canadian Journey notes marked an enhanced design for Canadian banknotes and included several upgraded security features to prevent counterfeiting.
Those features include a metallic stripe in which the denomination and maple leaves change colour, a ghost image that is visible when you hold the note to the light, a series of dashes that shift colour from gold to green and contain the note’s numerical denomination value, a puzzle number that appears to be complete when the note is held to the light, raised ink on the shoulders of the portrait and on the words “Bank of Canada,” and a piece of hidden text that is only available under UV light.
RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Dan Moskaluk said checking these security features should be the first line of defense in preventing counterfeits from being circulated.
“The public, merchants and businesses should always check the security features of the bank note before accepting,” said Moskaluk. “The typical modus operandi is for the passer to make an inexpensive purchase and pay with a large denomination, in turn receiving a large percentage of change back in authentic currency, leaving the bogus bill in the till.”
The Bank of Canada introduced a new series of polymer banknotes this year, with even more technologically advanced security features.