Paper Money

Canadian officials warn of fake notes

Frankenstein has returned in the form of Canadian bank notes, says the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. A CBC news report on Jan. 28 stated that a new breed of counterfeit currency was circulating in Alberta, and that users needed to be particularly careful with $50 and $100 bills.

Corp. Joe Stubbs, a counterfeit money specialist with the RCMP, explained to the CBC the technique of a clever group of counterfeiters. “What they’re doing is, what we’re calling Frankenstein-ing the notes,” he said.

He added, “They’re taking a legitimate five dollar bill and cutting out the five dollar bill hologram, taking that hologram and taping it into a counterfeit $50.”

hobo nickels folk artInside Coin World: Hobo nickels endure as a form of folk art: Hobo nickels, leper colonies tokens and a religious objection to Continental Currency are among the subjects of features exclusive to the March issue.

Stubbs added the bills were actually easy to detect with the naked eye if people would only bother to look. The hologram on the $50 Bank of Canada note, for example, should show that value inside the maple leaf. Instead, the fakes only have a 5.

The counterfeiters’ solution to replicating the distinct feel of polymer appears to be twofold. Sometimes they apply plastic sheet protectors to the surface of their notes, other times they apply a spray resin to them. 

Earlier attempts at counterfeiting the new series of Canadian notes included replacing the clear holographic strip with foil or another reflective material, laminated in clear packing tape.

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