Counterfeiting occurs when someone imitates a real product, or in this case, money. In Canada it is illegal to make reproductions of any currency. The Bank of Canada is responsible for issuing Canadian currency and is constantly updating security features to prevent counterfeiting from occurring.

There are four kinds of bank notes currently in circulation in Canada; the Polymer Frontiers Series Notes, the Vertical $10 Note, the Canada 150 Commemorative Note and the $20 Commemorative Note. All have leading-edge security features that are reliable and easy to check for counterfeiting.

What to do if you suspect counterfeiting

The Bank of Canada offers tips on what to do if you suspect you are being offered a counterfeit bank note during a transaction, or if you think you may have received a counterfeit note, including:

If you believe that you’re being offered a counterfeit note, make sure you are safe and then:

  • 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.

The Bank of Canada also recommends that you be courteous and remember that the person with the note could be an innocent victim who does not realize that the note is suspicious.

If you think that you’ve received a counterfeit note, give it to the local police. If it’s real, the police will return the note to you.

Additional Resources

For more information on the security features in Canada's bank notes, visit the Bank of Canada website. The Bank also offers free downloadable educational materials on the security features of Canadian bank notes.

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