Counterfeiting and Bank Note Security

The following information was distributed by the Bank of Canada for public education and awareness.

Bank notes have security features that are reliable, and quick, and easy to use. Simply touch, tilt, look at and look through a bank note to confirm that it’s genuine.

It’s a good habit to verify your notes—just as you check your change and credit card receipts. It’s quick and easy to do, you protect yourself, and you eliminate opportunities for counterfeiters.

The Bank offers many services and materials to show Canadians how to verify notes through the website, customized training programs for large retailers, information seminars for local groups like chambers of commerce and business improvement districts, education materials, and the Bank of Canada toll-free line at 1-800-303-1287).

Counterfeiting rates have increased because of easier access to better, cheaper personal computer and image reproduction technology. This is an international problem.

The Bank of Canada is responding to counterfeiting threats in three ways:

– ongoing research of new security technology and issuing notes with advanced security features that make bank notes hard to counterfeit, yet easier to check (e.g. new $20, $50 and $100 notes in 2004)

– working with Canadians, especially cash handlers in retail, hospitality and financial services, to show them how to check security features and verify bank notes

– working with police agencies to monitor and respond to counterfeiting

Central banks and police agencies can’t fight counterfeiting alone. Canadians can prevent counterfeiting and avoid getting stuck with a counterfeit bill by routinely checking their notes.

The vast majority of retailers accept all denominations of bank notes. We encourage retailers to verify bank notes rather than refuse particular denominations. Checking notes is fast and easy to do, and better serves the interests of both retailers and their customers.

For more information visit the Bank of Canada website.


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