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To put off counterfeiters, most countries issue bills that use a range of technologies and techniques to make forging money as difficult as possible. Our recent banknotes have different (and really cool) security features!
The upgraded $5 bill (in circulation since November 2006) is a counterfeiter's worst enemy. Here's what makes it virtually "un-forgeable":
To spot a counterfeit bill, you can't just look at it and take it at its word. You should touch it, look through it and tilt it back and forth. This way, you can let the security features do the talking! If shopkeepers, cashiers and customers become good at recognizing forged bills, counterfeiters will have a harder time getting their fake banknotes into circulation. And then everybody wins!
Often, stores are equipped with special "counterfeit-detecting" gear, like ultraviolet lights, to help them identify and refuse forged bills. Ask them to show you what a bill looks like under ultraviolet light. You'll be amazed!
To learn more, visit the Bank of Canada website:
Tricks of the Trade
Raise the bill to the light. There should be a "ghost image" hidden in money. Can you find it?
counterfeit: an imitation of a document or object made to fool people into thinking it's the real thing. It's another word for forgery, most often used to describe forged money. Counterfeiting is a serious crime.
security features: devices added to an object to protect it and make it harder to counterfeit