March is Fraud Prevention Month and over the next few weeks, DRPS will be highlighting some common scams along with tips for residents to protect themselves. The annual campaign in partnership with the Competition Bureau of Canada and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre gives Canadians the information they need to recognize, reject and report scams.
This week we will look at the rise in the passing of counterfeit American currency in Durham Region. Not only are businesses being targeted, but people selling items on social media and online classified sites have also fallen victim. So far this year, investigators have received 24 reports involving counterfeit American currency being passed and have arrested six people in the last 2 months.
They are asking retailers to be especially aware of counterfeit American currency being circulated in our local communities. Merchants should be extra diligent when accepting $20, $50 and $100 American notes. Residents selling items online should also be mindful of the passing of fraudulent currency when completing an in person transaction.
Although not every bill will be fraudulent, it's important to keep some tips in mind to protect yourself and your business:
* Be sure to educate staff about the security features found on currency
* Re-visit your store policies when it comes to accepting American currency
* Watch for customers making small purchases with large bills
* Never become involved in an altercation with a potential suspect, your safety always comes first
* Contact police with any suspicions
Please see attached "Know Your Money" document for some security features to watch for. You can also visit the Bank of Canadawebsite for more examples of fraudulent currency and additional information.
If you suspect counterfeit currency has been passed at your store or you witness someone attempting to pass fraudulent currency, please contact police right away at 1-888-579-1520.
Counterfeit U.S. Bills (JPG file, 106.0K bytes)
Know your money (PDF file, 301.1K bytes)