VicPD Financial Crime detectives are issuing a warning to businesses after a spike in American counterfeit currency within our community.
Since November 1st, VicPD has dealt with 24 separate counterfeit currency files. All, except one, were United States bills – the majority being counterfeit $20 bills with some $50 denominations being used as well.
Although these files are currently under investigation, investigators have noted that the majority of the counterfeit notes were passed at “cash-based” businesses such as convenience stores, fast food restaurants and gas stations.
Investigators believe that there is a very close correlation between the street-level drug trade and the distribution of the counterfeit currency.
“It does not take much to produce somewhat realistic-looking counterfeit notes,” said Det. Sgt Derek Tolmie. “All you need is a computer, color printer and a little bit of knowledge.”
If you are a business owner or operator, it is important to know the signs of a counterfeit bill. Please visit here for more information.
If you have information on who may be producing these counterfeit bills, please call our non-emergency line at (250) 995-7654. To report what you know anonymously, please call Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
What to do if you suspect that you have been offered a counterfeit note during a transaction:
Assess the situation to ensure that you are not at risk. Then do the following:
- Politely refuse the note and explain that you suspect that it may be counterfeit.
- Ask for another note (and check it too).
- Advise the person to check the note with the local police.
- Inform your local police of a possible attempt to pass suspected counterfeit money.
Be courteous. Remember that the person in possession of the bill could be an innocent victim who does not realize that the note is suspicious.