Nova Scotia

Fake U.S. $50 bills have Halifax police issuing warnings

People and businesses in the Halifax-region are being warned about counterfeit American $50 bills that someone has been trying to pass off as the real deal.

HRP Const. Pierre Bourdages says there have been at least 10 reported cases

Police are reminding business owners of the importance of closely examining cash before accepting it. (CBC)

People and businesses in the Halifax-region are being warned about counterfeit American $50 bills that someone has been trying to pass off as the real deal.

Halifax Regional Police Const. Pierre Bourdages says there have been at least 10 reported cases where someone paid for a purchase using a counterfeit $50.

"Businesses in a number of shopping areas were targeted and several thousand dollars worth of counterfeit bills were used," he says.

Investigators are continuing to look into the problem. They say they believe the incidents are connected.

Bourdages said the fake bills were used to make expensive purchases.

"We've seen them used in the electronics shops, in gas bars, in grocery stores, electronics, sports shops. It's always several hundred dollar purchases and sometimes over $1000," he said.

Stephanie Schnair with Halifax Shopping Centre says they were hit.

"A notification was sent out and we did have some retailers who indicated they had 50 dollar bills in their possession," she said.

Descriptions of the suspects were turned over to police.

Police are reminding business owners of the importance of closely examining cash before accepting it.

In this case, you can't see a watermark on the bill of American civil war general Ulysses S. Grant, indicating it's a fake. There`s also no filigran and the paper doesn't feel quite right. All clues the bills are counterfeit.

Bourdage says the number of Canadian counterfeit bills is actually on the decline. The polymer bills introduced by the Bank of Canada beginning in 2011 are much more difficult to copy.

If store owners suspect they've been handed a fake bill, they should immediately call police at (902) 490-5020.

Click here and here to find out more about bank note security features and ways to prevent fraud. 

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