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Counterfeit Money

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Bank note security features are reliable, and quick and easy to use!
What to do with a suspected counterfeit note

Bank note security features are reliable, and quick and easy to use!

Time is precious, and so is your hard-earned money. It takes only seconds to distinguish a genuine note from a fake one. It's as simple as checking your change, sales slips, or credit card receipts.

Check your notes! Make it a habit!

$20 Canadian
Key security features on the new Canadian Journey series $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes

HOLOGRAPHIC STRIPE
Tilt the note, and brightly coloured numerals (10, 20, 50, or 100) and maple leaves will «move» within the shiny, metallic stripe on the front of the note. Colours will change through the various shades of the rainbow. There is a colour-split within each maple leaf. If you look carefully, smaller numerals (10, 20, 50, or 100) appear in the background of the three-dimensional stripe. The stripe has curved edges.

WATERMARK PORTRAIT
Look through the note. Hold it to the light, and a small, ghost-like image of the portrait appears to the left of the large numeral (10, 20, 50, or 100). A smaller numeral (10, 20, 50, or 100) is also evident. This watermark is embedded in the paper and can be seen from both sides of the note. The watermark is only visible when the note is backlit.

WINDOWED COLOUR-SHIFTING THREAD
Look through the note. Hold it to the light, and a continuous, solid vertical line can be seen from both sides of the note. From the back of the note, this security thread resembles a series of exposed metallic dashes (windows) that shift from gold to green when the note is tilted. Small characters CAN 10 (20, 50, or 100) are printed on this security thread, which is woven into the paper.

SEE-THROUGH NUMBER
Look through the note. Hold it to the light, and just like two pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, the irregular marks on the front and back form a complete and perfectly aligned numeral 10, 20, 50, or 100. Look for this feature between the watermark and the large numeral (10, 20, 50, or 100).

5$ Canadian
Key security features on the Canadian Journey series
$5 and original $10 notes

IRIDESCENT MAPLE LEAVES
Tilt the note, and three maple leaves will change from a faint image to a shiny gold colour. The outline of the leaves is clearly defined, and there are no detectable raised edges.

HIDDEN NUMBER
Tilt the note at eye level, and the numeral 5 (or 10) will become visible.

20$ Canadian
Key security feature on Birds of Canada series notes

OPTICAL SECURITY DEVICE
Tilt the note, and the metallic patch changes colour from gold to green. This colour-change patch cannot be peeled off, and there are no detectable raised edges (on the $20, $50, and $100 notes only.)

PLANCHETTES
The notes feature fluorescent planchettes, or green dots, randomly scattered across both sides of all bank notes of the Birds of Canada series. These dots are uniformly round in shape, can sometimes be removed from the paper, and glow blue under a UV light.

Other security features on Canadian Journey
and Birds of Canada series notes

RAISED PRINT (INTAGLIO)
Touch the note. The ink on the large numeral, the portrait, the Coat of Arms, the horizontal broad bands, and the words BANK OF CANADA - BANQUE DU CANADA feels thicker to the touch.

FINE-LINE PRINTING
Look at the note for the sharp, well-defined lines and/or microprinting (small, clearly defined characters) that form the portrait and the background patterns of the note (e.g. diagonal or wavy lines around the portrait and the vignette of the Parliament Buildings).

FLUORESCENCE
Look at the note under UV light, and the following elements become visible.

Canadian Journey series $10, $20, $50, and $100 notes:

  • Look for the text BANQUE DU CANADA 10 (20, 50, or 100) BANK OF CANADA glowing in interlocking colours of yellow and red over the portrait.
  • Look for fibres, some glowing yellow and some glowing red, scattered randomly across both sides of the note. (The blue fibres, visible in normal light, do not glow.)

Canadian Journey series $5 (and the original $10) notes:

  • Look for the words FIVE-CINQ (or DIX-TEN), the Coat of Arms, and the text BANQUE DU CANADA-BANK OF CANADA glowing blue over the portrait.
  • Look for fibres, glowing red, scattered randomly across both sides of the note. (The blue fibres, visible in normal light, do not glow.)

Birds of Canada series notes:

  • Look for planchettes (small green dots), glowing blue, scattered randomly across both sides of the note. (These dots are uniformly round in shape and can sometimes be removed from the paper.)

UNIQUE COLOURS AND SERIAL NUMBERS
When you compare a genuine note with a suspect note, you may notice a difference in colour. The unique security inks used to produce the notes are difficult to simulate. All bank notes also have unique serial numbers printed twice on the back of every note. If you find two notes from the same series with the same serial number, at least one is a counterfeit!

TACTILE FEATURE
The new notes have a tactile feature located in the upper right corner on the face of the notes, consisting of a series of symbols formed by groupings of six raised dots that are separated by a smooth surface. This feature helps blind and visually impaired Canadians recognize different denominations by touch. The number and position of these symbols vary according to the denomination. The $5 note has one symbol of six raised dots. The new $20 note has three, while the new $50 note incorporates four symbols. Like the $10 note, the new $100 bank note has two symbols, but the smooth surface between them is much larger. This tactile feature is not a security feature and should not be used to authenticate bank notes.

Did you know ?

On average, it takes only a few seconds to verify the authenticity of a Canadian bank note

Help keep counterfeit bank notes out of circulation. Together, we can fight counterfeiting!
Do not hesitate to verify bank notes in front of customers. It shows the reliability and seriousness of your business.

Remember

  • Most counterfeit notes are poor quality and can be easily detected.
  • No denomination is exempt from the possibility of counterfeiting.
  • All payment methods can be subject to fraud. Protect yourself. Learn how to use the security measures on bank notes.


DISPELLING THE MYTHS

Although the following statements are true, the Bank of Canada does not recommend that you use any of these techniques to detect counterfeit notes.
These methods are not infallible as counterfeit notes can sometimes display the same properties as genuine notes.

  • The ink on a genuine bank note can be rubbed off but, by doing so, you reduce the effectiveness of the raised ink security feature.
  • The ink on a genuine bank note will remain intact in the crease of a folded note.
  • The ink on a genuine bank note will not run if water is applied to it.

Beware!

If you realize that you are in possesion of a counterfeit bank note, contact the police

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What to do with a suspected counterfeit note

  1. Stop the transaction, request another note, and if possible, keep the suspected counterfeit.
  2. Call your supervisor, security officer, and/or the local police.
  3. Record the details of how you received the note (time, number of notes, denomination, context, description of the individual(s) who gave you the note, etc.).
  4. Give the note only to the police and always request a receipt. If the note is genuine, it will be returned to you. ( It is your responsibility to return a genuine note to the person from whom it was originally received.)

The authenticity of suspect bank notes will be assessed by local authorities. All counterfeit notes will be sent to the RCMP's Bureau for Counterfeit and Document Examinations in Ottawa for further testing.

Remember

  • It is a criminal offence to knowingly use or possess a counterfeit bank note, punishable by a prison term of up to 14 years.
  • You are not permitted to keep a counterfeit note for the purposes of training or instruction. It must be given to the police.
  • Counterfeits should be given only to the police.
  • Those who pass counterfeit notes may be innocent victims of crime.
  • The reproduction of bank notes is restricted under the Criminal Code and the Copyright Act.


The Bank of Canada has a very comprehensive website. In addition, the Bank provides a series of free materials, tools and information services, to help police officers, employees of financial institutions, and cashiers in the retail and hospitality sector to quickly, easily, and reliably identify genuine bank notes.

Protect yourself against loss! Act today!

Bank of Canada
Toll free number : 1 888 513-8212
Facsimile: (613) 782-7533
e-mail: education@bankofcanada.ca
website: www.bankofcanada.ca/en/banknotes

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