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Canada’s Plastic Money Is Making Life Hard For Counterfeiters

Shelby Chau / December 6, 2016

This line sums up the mindset of a counterfeit bill maker, “You only need to pass it once.”


And it’s true, when exchanging cash, some counterfeits are extremely hard to tell apart from the real deal. Think for a minute about how much you handle cash on a daily basis, do you examine each bill thoroughly? Do you even know what each bill is supposed to look like? If someone is passing you fake money, they’re banking on the fact that you probably don’t.


In Canada, paper money was slowly phased out in favor of new, polymer bills between 2011 and 2013. The change has been a deterrent for counterfeit bill makers because according to Robert Moyes, a counterfeit examiner for the RCMP, he says that he would rate the quality of fake polymer bills at poor to medium at best.


Source: cbc

Source: cbc


In 2015, the decline in counterfeit money was dramatic, a 74% drop when compared to the year before. However, while the quality is poor now, that might not stay that way forever. Even Moyes admits that nothing is counterfeit-proof. It’s like a high-tech cat and mouse chase. Currently, the counterfeiters are trying to catch up, but the Bank of Canada is already trying to stay ahead by working on their next series of bills.


If you handle cash, here are some tips to help spot the fakes:


  • When the fakes are poorly made, people may sandwich them between legitimate bills
  • Be extra careful in dimly lit environments
  • Feeling the bills may help identify fakes


Featured image via youtube (The National)