The Fort Frances OPP is warning the public about counterfeit currency that may be circulating in the area, the second time in as many months.
Police say on April 6, officers were made aware of a fake $50 bill that was used at a local business and police are asking community members and businesses to be aware of the fake currency.
A fake $100 bill led to charges to a 26-year-old man from Couchiching First Nation in early March, reported by the Fort Frances OPP.
The OPP say the following signs have been found on the counterfeit money that has been seized in the area:
- The bills are thick paper, not polymer
- The translucent plastic on these bills is actually just tape
- There are hash marks on the top right corner of the face side of the bill, or the corner is cut off
- The maple leaf on the left is not translucent and is not a hologram
Possession, use or creation of counterfeit currency is an indictable offence punishable upon conviction by up to 14 years in prison. These bills are typically sold as props for movies or plays and are not considered legal tender.
The OPP says that you need to be especially careful during busy shopping periods when counterfeit notes are more likely to be passed. They say you should:
- Be wary of customers who want to pay with much higher denominations of bills than needed.
- If possible, keep the suspicious banknote and record all relevant information about the bill and the person, such as denomination, serial number, time, context, physical descriptions, and vehicles and licence plates.
- Contact your local police service.
- Give the suspicious banknote to the police and request a receipt, if the note is genuine, it will be returned to you.
- Remember, someone passing a counterfeit banknote may not be aware it is fake, they could also be an unwitting victim of crime.
Anyone with any information regarding the fake currency is asked to call the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).