La Sûreté du Québec, the provincial police force that serves the totality of Quebec, has declared March to be fraud prevention month. As part of this initiative, the Sûreté du Québec have published a series of tweets warning Quebec residents of common types of frauds. This includes everything from fake online profiles to identity theft.
This week, police are warning of fake bills, warning the public to stay vigilant of counterfeits. Though the volume of counterfeit bills has decreased by almost 80% since 2008, the yearly value of counterfeit bills passed into circulation is of about $1.2 million.
In Canada, anyone who accepts a counterfeit bill, whether knowingly or unknowingly, has to bear the loss of that bill. There is no reimbursement by the government because they believe this would just incentivise counterfeiters.
There are some steps citizens can take to familiarise themselves with spotting counterfeit bills. The bank of Canada has a section of their website dedicated to helping the general public familiarise themselves with the security features of different bills.
Amongst other things, the public should remember to "feel, look and flip."
Feel for a smooth texture in the notes, as well as the raised ink on the denomination of the note.
What to "look" for depends on what note you are looking at, and the Bank of Canada has detailed examples of what you should be looking for when looking at different bills. For example, a transparent window on many of the newer bills.
Then, flip the bill and notice whether or not the metallic elements in the "window" match the front part of the bill.
If you find a counterfeit bill, you're required to bring it to police.