Train Employees to Spot Counterfeit Bank Notes

by Thom Tracy

2 min read

For any small business that handles cash, it’s critical to avoid being the victim of counterfeiters. Therefore, it’s a good idea to train your employees on how to spot counterfeit Canadian bank notes. Canadian currency has historically been one of the most frequently counterfeited among the G20 nations. By 2002, things had gotten so bad that many retailers stopped accepting the most commonly counterfeited bill — the $100 bank note. The good news is that since making the change to polymer bills, counterfeiting of Canadian bank notes has dropped dramatically. Nonetheless, businesses still need to actively protect themselves from taking in phoney money.

Free Training from the Bank of Canada

The Bank of Canada offers free training in spotting counterfeit bills, and will even tailor the training to the needs of your particular business. The bank also provides online webinar training through its website, as well as an employee handbook for retailers and other materials that can be viewed or downloaded.

Basics of Spotting Counterfeit Notes

“Feel, look, and flip” is the catchphrase used as a reminder of the basic elements of checking bills against possible counterfeiting. “Feel” refers to the distinctive texture and general touch that characterize genuine bank notes. Many experienced handlers of cash, such as bank tellers, can often instantly detect counterfeit bills by feel alone, without even visually examining them. The new polymer-based bank notes accentuate this feature, as they have a definitively smooth feel.“Look” is the visual inspection of bills, including things such as checking the transparency of the large window on bank notes, and examining various details and fine printing that genuine bank notes exhibit.“Flip” bank notes to check that the metallic portrait on bills is repeated in identical colours and details on the opposite side of the large window.

Security Features of Canadian Bank Notes

There are numerous security features embedded in the newest Canadian bank notes, and the more familiar your employees are with these features, the better prepared they will be to detect possible counterfeit bills. Checking bank notes for proper feel includes noting several places that feature raised ink that can easily be detected. You should be able to easily notice raised ink on the large printing of the bill denomination number, on the shoulders in the large portrait, and also in the printing of “Bank of Canada” or “Banque du Canada.”One of the more advanced counterfeit detection techniques is to hold a bill directly in front of your eye. Then, looking through the frosted maple leaf window at a light source, you should be able to see a circle of otherwise invisible numbers matching the denomination of the bill. Paper bank notes still in circulation can be identified as genuine by checking security features such as the small, ghost-like version of the portrait on the bill that only appears when held up to a light, and the changing colours of numbers and maple leaves that become visible on the magnetic stripe of a bill when the bill is tilted back and forth.

References & Resources

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