Counterfeit U.S. banknotes are circulating in Windsor and Chatham-Kent according to the Windsor Police.
On March 6, officers with the property crimes unit located and arrested a male suspect in the 5400 block of Reginald Street without incident. Upon arrest, the suspect—31-year-old Kurt Durance, of Windsor—was found in possession of a small quantity of counterfeit U.S. currency. He was charged with four counts of possessing counterfeit money; three counts of uttering counterfeit money; and breach of probation.
Earlier this year, patrol officers were dispatched to a convenience store located in the 1400 block of Wyandotte Street East for a report of suspected counterfeit money passed at the business two days prior. Officers were then dispatched to a restaurant in the 1300 block of Walker Road as well as a second convenience store in the 4600 block of Seminole Street for reports of suspected counterfeit money passed at the businesses. Each incident involved counterfeit $100 U.S. banknotes that contained a foreign language written on both the front and back of each bill.
The financial crimes branch continued the investigation by reviewing surveillance video from all three businesses and determined the same male suspect was responsible for each incident.
Since last year, versions of the seized counterfeit currency has been intercepted by police in many jurisdictions, including Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.
“The Windsor Police Service would like to remind the public, especially local business operators, to take the time to inspect cash transactions to ensure the legitimacy of the currency,” reads a statement issued by police last week. “Often times an offender will attempt to purchase a low-priced item with a large value counterfeit bill in the hopes of receiving legitimate change.”
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.