Calgary police warn of increasing counterfeit use

Calgary police are warning residents to remain vigilant when dealing with cash following an increase in the amount of counterfeit banknotes being passed across the southern Alberta city.

Last month, the Calgary Police Service (CPS) said it investigated nearly 40 cases involving counterfeit banknotes in February and March.

“There has been an increase in the passing of counterfeit notes in #Calgary over the past two months,” wrote the CPS in a Facebook post. “These counterfeit notes are the $100 CAD, $50 CAD & $20 CAD notes printed on clear plastic and a crude version of counterfeit CAD notes of various denominations. For just only the $100 CAD counterfeit notes, the Calgary Police Service attended to 39 occurrences totaling $12,400.”

The counterfeit notes have “ink that readily flakes off” and the notes’ colour is described as “wrong” and “not crisp.” What’s more, the micro-printing is unreadable, and there is a “distinctive ridge by the large transparent window which indicates a taped on piece of material.”

“For the crude counterfeits, these notes are printed on paper (so they rip), use clear tape, duct tape and/or tinfoil is used,” reads the post. “As well the counterfeit notes usually indicate no value in the large transparent window or a value that does not match the notes value.”


When dealing with someone who is attempting to pass counterfeit bank notes, cash handlers must ensure their own safety first. Police also offer the following advice:

  • 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 needed;
  • if possible, keep the suspicious banknote 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); and
  • remember the person passing a counterfeit banknote may not be aware it is phoney—he or she could also be an unwitting victim of crime.

More information on how to authenticate genuine Canadian currency can be found at

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