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Police warn of fake American cash being passed in Nova Scotia

A member of the Halifax Regional Police holds up a counterfeit $50 American bill in this file photo.
A member of the Halifax Regional Police holds up a counterfeit $50 American bill in this file photo.

HALIFAX, N.S. –  Check that American bill before you accept it, Halifax Regional Police say.

According to a March 24 media release, the financial crime unit of the integrated criminal investigation division is looking into at least eight reports of counterfeit $20, $50 and $100 American bills.

Here’s a timeline of incidents, some of which were reported to police at a later date:

Feb 23: Five counterfeit $20s used to pay for a purchase at a Halifax pharmacy

Feb. 28: A counterfeit $100 bill received at a a Halifax bank

March 2: Police retrieved 24 counterfeit American bills in different denominations from a payment processing and currency management company in Dartmouth that works with retail and business clients across Atlantic Canada.

March 8: Police say a financial institution in Dartmouth received seven counterfeit $20s

March 8:  A Tantallon business says a man made a transaction using 10 counterfeit $20s.

March 13:  Fall River business says a man bought two prepaid credit cards by using counterfeit $20s

March 15: Counterfeit US cash used at a gas station in Halifax

March 21: Police say a Dartmouth financial institution received 20 counterfeit $20s

Nova Scotia RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jennifer Clarke said she wasn’t aware of reports of counterfeit American bills outside of the Halifax Regional Municipality during that time period.

However, According to the media release, there have been reports from the General Toronto area  “indicating wider circulation of counterfeit currency.”

 “Passing counterfeit money is a crime,” Halifax Police advise. “Did you know that you will not be reimbursed if you unknowingly accept a counterfeit bill? Don’t become a victim - always check the security features in bank notes before accepting them.”

Police remind Nova Scotians they do not have to accept a bill if they suspect it is a counterfeit.

“If you think you've received a counterfeit bill or if someone attempts to use a bill that appears to be counterfeit, contact Halifax Regional Police or Halifax District RCMP at 902-490-5020.”

Think it's fake? Check Canadian and American bills with these tips.

Check cash for these security features:

Canadian currency

·      Raised ink on the front.

·      Large window containing metallic symbols and images.

·      Maple leaf border around the large window.

·      Frosted maple leaf window.

Learn more here.

American currency

·      Background colours and large, borderless portrait images.

·      Unique paper made of cotton and linen with randomly distributed red and blue fibres.

·      Off-center portraits without a frame.

·      Watermark.

·      Colour shifting ink on some notes.

·      Security thread.

·      3-D security ribbon on some notes.

·      Serial numbers that correspond with a specific year.

Learn more here.

Source: Halifax Regional Police

Nova Scotia RCMP can also be contacted at 1-800-803- 7267 anywhere in Nova Scotia. Should you wish to remain anonymous, you can also contact Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or text TIP202 + your message to 'CRIMES' (274637) or submit tips by Secure Web Tips at www.crimestoppers.ns.ca. Calls to Crime Stoppers are not taped or traced and if police make an arrest and lay charges based on a tip, callers qualify for a cash award.

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