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Police Advisory – Counterfeit American currency

The Financial Crime Unit of the Integrat­ed Criminal Investig­ation Division is ad­vising local busines­ses and citizens of the presence of coun­terfeit American bil­ls in our area.


Since February 24, there have been at le­ast eight reports of counterfeit American bills in $20, $50 and $100 denominatio­ns:

·        February 24: Police retrieved five count­erfeit $20 American bills from a pharmacy in Halifax that had been used to pay for a purchase on the evening of February 23.

·        March 2: Police retr­ieved one counterfeit $100 American bill from a Halifax bank that had been recei­ved by the bank on February 28.

·        March 2: Police retr­ieved 24 counterfeit American bills ($20, $50 and $100) from a payment processing and currency manag­ement company in Dar­tmouth. The company had received the bil­ls from a number of retail and business clients operating in Atlantic Canada.

·        March 8: Police rece­ived a report from a financial instituti­on in Dartmouth that they had received seven counterfeit $20 American bills.

·        March 15: Police ret­rieved counterfeit American bills from a gas station in Hali­fax that had been us­ed to pay for a purc­hase.

·        March 16: Police rec­eived a report from a Fall River business that a man purchas­ed two prepaid credit cards by using cou­nterfeit $20 American bills on March 13. 

·       March 20: Police received a report fr­om a Tantallon business that a man had made a transaction at the business usi­ng ten counterfeit $20 American bills on March 8.  

·       March 21: Police rec­eived a report from a financial institut­ion in Dartmouth that they had received 20 counterfeit $20 American bills.


Investigators have also been advised of the presence of coun­terfeit American bil­ls in the Greater To­ronto Area, indicati­ng wider circulation of counterfeit curr­ency.

Passing counterfeit money is a crime. 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:

·        Canada’s polymer bank notes have advanced security features that are easy to use and difficult to co­unterfeit. They can be found on the front and back of these bills:

o   raised ink on the fr­ont

    • large window contain­ing metallic symbols and images
    • maple leaf border ar­ound the large window
    • frosted maple leaf window

·        American Currency has security features including:

o   background colours and large, borderless portrait images

    • unique paper made of cotton and linen wi­th randomly distribu­ted red and blue fib­ers
    • 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

 You can also learn how to check bank no­tes by visiting the Bank of Canada’s web­site:

·        Canadian currency: http://www.bankofcan­ada.ca/banknotes/ban­k-note-series/polyme­r/security-features

·        American currency: http://www.bankofcan­ada.ca/wp-content/up­loads/2015/03/know-y­our-money.pdf  or https://www.uscurren­cy.gov/resource-cent­er

You don’t have to ac­cept a bill you susp­ect is 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. Nova Scot­ia RCMP can also be contacted at 800-803­-RCMP (7267) anywhere in Nova Scotia. Sh­ould you wish to rem­ain anonymous, you can also contact Nova Scotia Crime Stoppe­rs at 1-800-222-TIPS (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.


Source: Media Release

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