In a followup interview with Nish Vairavanathan, a Bank of Canada currency analyst, this reporter has confirmed that (as far as Vairavanathan was aware) there is only one known case of counterfeit new polymer $100 banknote. (Note: The new polymer $100 was launched a few months ago in November 2011.) As reported yesterday (also mirrored in an article here), the counterfeit new polymer $100 bill was of very poor quality. For example, the counterfeit new polymer $100 bill did not have the transparent window in the middle of the banknote, one of the most obvious and easily verifiable security feature.
Readers of this article should not be alarmed by the existence of this one known case of counterfeit new polymer $100 banknote, what you can do is arm yourself with the knowledge of the new polymer banknote’s security features. You can start by watching a video of me handling and inspecting a new $100 banknote for its security features up close. Also watch this informative PSA video from Bank of Canada: The New $100 Note. I’ve been informed the single counterfeit new polymer $100 banknote is with the RCMP National Anti-Counterfeit Bureau being analyzed. I asked if a picture of it is available to the media but was told that information like how it looks, where it was found, etc are not being shared (I presume for security or police investigation reasons).
What should Canadians do when we come across suspected counterfeit banknotes?
Any Canadians handling cash, especially those in the front line handling cash as a cashier or merchant, etc, should familiarize ourselves with the new polymer banknotes’ security features. When we see any cash that doesn’t look real, then we can and should refuse it and simply politely ask for another form of payment.
For our safety, don’t confront the payer as it may put ourselves in danger, contact local police instead. Plus the person with the “counterfeit-looking” banknote may be truly innocent and not aware the banknote is potentially a counterfeit. You may be interested to know, Bank of Canada discovered $2.6 million dollars worth of Canadian Journey series counterfeit banknotes last year, 48% are $20 bills and 37% are $100 bills.
Curious readers may be interested to know, the old Canadian Journey series banknote costs 10 cents each to print compare to the new polymer banknote costing 19 cents each to print but will last 2.5 times longer make the polymer banknotes more cost effective in the long term according to Bank of Canada.
Note: This news is marked “Exclusive” because at press time, as far as I can find or search, no news media has reported or picked on the existence of the one poor-quality counterfeit new polymer $100 note and the fact that the RCMP National Anti-Counterfeit Bureau has it under analysis.
(Article is cross-posted to Examiner.com)