Topic: Retailers have power to stop counterfeiters cold  (Read 3760 times)
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« on: October 09, 2006, 11:06:34 pm »

Retailers have power to stop counterfeiters cold
Brent Fox
The Advertiser

It takes only nine cents to make a $5 to $100 banknote, but getting a bogus bill can cost you a lot more than that.

Bank of Canada Atlantic region senior analyst Allan Paquet told the Kings Crime Prevention Association Tuesday, Sept. 26 that counterfeiting has been down over the past year, but the general trend is still rising. However, better checking technology and new bills are available to help deter counterfeiters.

Paquet said that new $5 bills are coming onstream and are the last in a series of improvements.

“What this means is more advanced technology,” he said, “making it more difficult to counterfeit.”

There was a drop in counterfeiting last year due in part to new bills, he said, but “it’s been an upward trend over the past 10 years.” About $9.4 million has been affected, but the economy isn’t under pressure. The economy has about $46 billion in circulation in the form of 1.4 billion banknotes.

And the trends change for counterfeiters. In 2001 it was $100 bills; in 2002, $10; and this year, $20.

“We feel the bad guys will adopt what they think will get through,” he said. “Any denomination can be targeted.”

Retailers should check for new features

The strategy against counterfeiting involves public awareness and education, including businesses; law enforcement; and improved banknotes.

“We really encourage retailers to check the bills for the new features,” Paquet said. They should adopt it to their everyday cash handling.

Paquet asked what was on the back of $20 bills. When he received no answer, he noted, “people don’t look at the back of bills.” This makes them more vulnerable to accepting a bad one.

But there are more and more ways to detect a bad bill, he noted. Depending on denomination, today’s banknotes include the hologram or holographic stripe, watermark portraits, iridescent maple leaves, hidden numbers, security treads and see-through numbers. There’s raised printing as well as Braille dots. In addition, the new ones have features that show up under ultra-violet light.

Businesses can buy the lights in order to check bills. “It provides another step,” he said.

A good way to check a hologram on a bill to see if it’s not counterfeit is to bend it a bit and see if it shines green and gold. If not, you’ve been had.

Look for crisp, sharp text

“Security features are quick and easy for retailers to use,” he noted. “Know your security features and check your notes.”

Besides the security features, people should “look for crisp, sharp text on the bill.”

He cautioned, however, that as technology improves, so do the counterfeiters’ methods to thwart the law.

The need to be aware isn’t confined to retailers, he said. People should always check a suspect bill against a known genuine one. “We think it’s good practice for people to check their bills.”

As for how long a banknote lasts, a $20 bill lasts about three years in circulation before it’s retrieved and destroyed. A $50 bill survives a little longer. A $5 or a $10 bill lasts about a year-and-a-half.

Educational resources are available by calling 1-888-513-8212.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2006, 11:07:56 pm by suretteda »

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