July 24, 2014 5:36 pm
Updated: July 29, 2014 2:15 pm

How to tell if your $5 bill is a counterfeit

TORONTO – The variety of security features on Canadian money can make telling counterfeit cash from the real thing rather difficult.

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Global News

Chances are your money is real but it’s important to keep the Bank of Canada’s ‘touch and tilt‘ motto in mind. The Bank of Canada suggests touching the bill to feel for a raised surface and tilting the money to look for changing colours and images that should be visible if the money is real.

“When you give it to somebody who doesn’t know what to look for then you get the confusion,” said Bank of Canada representative Manuel Parreira. “Most people in Canada today are accepting the ones with holograph stripe.”

The Bank of Canada has issued three series of notes since 2001.

The first, the Canadian Journey series of $5 and $10 bills was introduced in 2001. The Bank of Canada added enhanced security features while reintroducing $20 bills in 2004. The $5 and $10 bills were changed soon after.

The Bank of Canada next started using polymer in 2011, first introducing a $100 note, followed later by $5, $10 and $20 bills in November 2013.

Global News tested retailers in Toronto to see if they would be willing to accept an original Canadian Journey $5 bill – without the metallic stripe.

The owner of the Fortune Smoke & Gifts Store on Queen Street East, Wendy Liu, knew right away. She made a point of feeling Sir Wilfrid Laurier’s jacket for texture.

“I’d take it,” she said. “I’m looking (to see if) it’s fake or not but this is okay.”

Officials from the Bank of Canada recommend that if someone’s unsure about the validity of a bill, to take it to a bank or report it to police.

Older, paper notes are more likely to be counterfeited.

“In 2013, we had about 48,000 counterfeit notes passed for about 1.9 million dollars,” Parreira said.

There were approximately 1.6 billion genuine notes in circulation last year, worth about $65 billion.

The $20 tends to be the most counterfeited note, making up approximately 70 per cent of faked bank notes, followed by $100 bills. The $5 bill represents less than 2 per cent of fake bills in Canada.

Anyone found with counterfeit money in their possession can be charged under the Criminal Code of Canada.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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