A lot of cash will be flowing over the holiday shopping season and with an increase in counterfeit currency investigations, Waterloo Regional Police are offering up some tips to businesses to help them spot the fake bills.
Det. Const. David Lea with the Fraud Branch said there have been over 90 occurrences of Canadian counterfeit currency in Waterloo region this year and usually they only see about 20 to 25 cases per year.
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“I’ve seen anything from a $20 bill passed off to $600 passed,” Lea said. “I know provincially we’re in the hundreds of thousands of dollars as far as counterfeit money.”
Lea said counterfeiters are getting creative and targeting smaller businesses, and that is why he is hosting a Fraud Awareness seminar Monday night to educate store owners and employees on how to detect the phoney money.
“We want to get out ahead of the coming Christmas season and make people aware of what schemes are out there,” Lea said. “Because of the high volume of things that are going on, this is the time fraudsters use to distract employees so that they can do these fraud schemes.”
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Lea offered up some tips to spot fake bills and highlighted the feel of a fake bill which is different from a legal bill.
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“Counterfeiters will put what they think looks like the polymer security features on paper because it’s cheaper,” he explained.
The legal banknotes also have raised ink in the corner next to the portrait, the large number and the Bank of Canada text.
He said to also look at the transparent window and when the bill is tilted, there will be a colour change to both the building and portrait.
“They may try and counterfeit that, they may have cut that off a different bill,” Lea said.
Lea said every counterfeit bill should be reported to police no matter the value because it could be part of a much larger investigation.
“(RCMP) do an analysis of it and what they’re really trying to do is determine where this money is being made,” he explained.
The Fraud Awareness seminar will also focus on tips for preventing credit card fraud.
It will take place from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at police headquarters on Maple Grove Road in Cambridge.