Police in New Westminster, B.C., are warning the public about counterfeit polymer $100-bills that have turned up twice in recent weeks.
According to police, seven counterfeit bills have been found in the city in two separate incidents.
In the first incident, a man walked into a grocery store and used two of the $100-bills. The employee did not realize until after the fact that the bills were counterfeit, and called police.
In the second case, a man deposited five of the bills at a bank, where they were immediately spotted as counterfeits. Police were called, and the incident is still being investigated.
No charges have been laid in either incident.
“Our ident [forensic identification] members said that they were really well made,” Staff Sergeant Paul Hyland of the New Westminster Police said of the bills. The main giveaway that the bills were fake, he said, is that the metallic building in the transparent window was missing its rooftop and flag.
Staff Sgt. Hyland said he’s not aware of any other instances of the new polymer bills having been counterfeited, but that there are likely others out there. “The people who counterfeited these bills probably made a large number, and they’re probably out in circulation somewhere,” he said.
Anyone who is concerned about the validity of a bill should bring it to a local bank to check, he said.
According to the RCMP, nearly 45,000 counterfeit Canadian bills were passed last year alone.
The new plastic bills were released to much fanfare in November, 2011 with the promise that they would be would be more difficult to counterfeit than the old paper notes.
The new polymer notes feature a slew of security features, including raised ink, a transparent strip containing a metallic images that change colour when you tilt the bills, transparent text, and a frosted maple leaf window.