Newfoundland police warn of counterfeit banknotes

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) economic crime unit is warning the public of counterfeit Canadian currency being circulated on the Northeast Avalon, which includes St. John’s, the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador; Mount Pearl; and Cape Spear, the easternmost point in North America.

Last month, the RNC received more than 10 complaints of counterfeit $50 and $100 Canadian bills being used at local businesses. In each case, it appeared that individuals removed the security window from lower-denomination $5 banknotes and taped it to counterfeit $50 and $100 notes.

In most cases, the $50 and $100 notes were used to pay for small items at drive-thrus of fast food establishments and other places where transactions are made quickly for low-cost items before receiving change from the business. All business owners and operators should ensure all employees are thoroughly examining all cash that is being tendered for payment.

Every Canadian banknote from the current Frontier Series feature numbers matching the respective note’s denomination in the large window. (Photo by RNC)

ADVICE TO AVOID FRAUD

When dealing with someone who is attempting to pass counterfeit bank notes, cash handlers must ensure their own safety first. Police also offered 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 bankofcanada.ca/banknotes/counterfeit-prevention.

Altering or having possession of counterfeit currency is a serious crime. Anyone who has information on individuals possessing counterfeit money is asked to contact the RNC at 729-8000 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. You can now provide information anonymously on the NL Crime Stoppers Website at nlcrimestoppers.com.

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