Bogus bills interest islanders

  • Jun. 15, 2011 8:00 a.m.

Queen Charlotte RCMP have been called six times since September about suspected counterfeit money circulating on the islands, says Const. Kenny Hew. None of the bills turned out to be counterfeit, but Const. Hew said there is a high level of interest here about the issue and he wanted to make sure islanders know where to get more information. The Bank of Canada has an excellent package called “Check to Protect”, Const. Hew said. The Queen Charlotte RCMP office has packages available for anyone who wants one. There is also information on the internet at www.bank-banque-canada.ca Const. Hew said most of the calls about suspected counterfeit money came from stores, and most were about $5 or $20 bills. The RCMP takes a careful look at every bill identified as suspect. “If we have any doubts, we send it in to the national anti-counterfeiting bureau,” he said. The Bank of Canada encourages a four-step process to ensure bank notes are real: touch the bill, to feel for raised ink on the front; tilt the bill, to see if the maple leaves and tiny numbers in the metallic stripe on the front changes colours; look through the bill to check that the ghost image, or watermark, matches the portrait on the bill; and look at the bill again to make sure each security feature works properly. A counterfeit bill was found on Haida Gwaii in 2009, Const. Hew said. “It does happen here,” he said. “The main thing is, you should always touch, tilt and look and if you have any doubts, contact the RCMP.” Const. Hew said making, possessing or using counterfeit money is a serious offence under the Criminal Code, with a prison term of up to 14 years for anyone convicted. He said anyone with questions or concerns about counterfeit money can drop by the detachment office to speak with a police officer or pick up materials from the Bank of Canada.