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Island RCMP warn of increase in counterfeit money

Business owners across central Vancouver Island are being are being warned about an influx of counterfeit cash in the region.

Twenty-three reports of counterfeit currency being passed have been reported to police in Campbell River since January, according to a release Thursday. Police add more than 20 other reports have come in other central Island communities north of Nanaimo.

The most common counterfeit money tends to be $50 or $100 bills, according to police. They say the bill passers are taking advantage of store clerks and cashiers, who police say have a lack of training for identifying counterfeit money.

“It’s unfortunate because the training tools to identify counterfeit bills are readily available on the Bank of Canada website and most counterfeit bills are easily identifiable if people know what they’re looking for,” said Cst. Maury Tyre of Campbell River RCMP.

Tyre says there seems to be less focus on bills in retail stores because the bulk of transactions are done electronically.

Police say modern Canadian bills can be identified as they are made from polymer instead of paper, have even edge cuts, holograms of the Prime Minister and parliament clock tower embedded in the clear polymer and have transparent edges around the maple leaf.

RCMP say people trying to pass counterfeit bills will often buy small amounts of goods with large bills so they can get more legitimate money faster.

Stores can also put up policies asking for ID if $50 and $100 bills are used, according to police. They also recommend posting signs that say employees are trained to identify counterfeit bills to deter this from happening.

More information about counterfeit money can be found on the Bank of Canada website, or by contacting local police.

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