Beware of phony $20 bills, Iqaluit RCMP say
Iqaluit banks report at least four counterfeit bills since July 18
People and businesses should watch out for counterfeit $20 bills that may be circulating in the community, the Iqaluit RCMP said July 25.
Banks in the city have came across at least four paper bills that are copies of a design produced between 2004 and 2006, known as the Canadian Journey series, Sgt. Yvonne Niego said.
“A small number have surfaced so far,” she said. “By the time it gets to the banks, it’s changed hands several times — so it’s very difficult to trace the source.”
Police are investigating. Banks have been finding false bills since about July 18, Niego said.
“It’s all in the last week that this has surfaced,” she said. “One of the bills seized was turned in on Monday [July 21],” she said.
The counterfeits have many irregularities.
The bills are slightly shorter than genuine ones — by up to six millimeters, and “ they appear to be cut with something rough, like a pair of scissors,” she said.
You can spot bad $20 bills by running the following checks, listed by police in a July 25 news release:
• Tilt the note. The numbers and maple leaves on the metallic stripe should change colour.
• On the front of the bill, feel for the raised ink on: the large number 20, the words “Bank of Canada,” and the shoulders of the Queen’s portrait. The counterfeit bills do not have raised ink.
• Hold the note up to the light and look through it. The dashes should form a solid line, on both sides of the note. The dashes also shift from gold to green when tilting the note. Small characters match the note value.
• Hold the note up to the light to see through it. A small ghost-like image of the portrait should appear in a blank space, visible from both sides of the note. You won’t see the image in counterfeit bills.
• Hold the note up to the light to see through it. Irregular marks on the front and back of the note should form a complete number, visible from both sides.
The detachment urges residents and organizations to visit the Bank of Canada website for more information on the bills, and detection of counterfeits.
“We urge residents to be aware of the differences and report them (to police) as soon as any are spotted,” Niego said. “The less hands the money is exchanged through, the easier it is to track the source.”
Police have found no similar such counterfeits in other communities of Nunavut, the sergeant said.
Counterfeiting “is a crime and harm can be done,” Niego said. “People rely on money for food and to look after their families, so we urge people to report.
“Handle the bills as little as possible, and call the local police as soon as you can.”
The crime is uncommon but not rare in Iqaluit, she said. Police investigated one other incident within the last three years, she added, which involved smaller denominations of bills.
Police in 2011 found fake denominations, which were printed in the city, of up to $100.