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Bank Notes

Counterfeiting Prevention

FAQs

  1. How can I tell if a bank note is real?
  2. What should I do if I have a counterfeit note?
  3. How does the Bank of Canada handle counterfeiting?
  4. Which note is counterfeited most often?
  5. How serious a problem is counterfeiting?
  6. Why does the Bank of Canada not offer reimbursement for a counterfeit note?







Question 1
How can I tell if a bank note is real?

All genuine bank notes have several security features (Counterfeiting Prevention) that you can check quickly and easily.

We recommend that you verify two or three security features. If you're still not sure about a particular note, then check more features.

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Question 2
What should I do if I have a counterfeit note?

If you detect a counterfeit note, retain the note if possible, record details of the note, contact the nearest police force or Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) for confirmation, and provide them with the information on the person who gave you the note.

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Question 3
How does the Bank of Canada handle counterfeiting?

The Bank of Canada has established a currency education program to assist Canadians in identifying genuine bank notes. The Bank monitors counterfeiting levels and works closely with law enforcement agencies and financial institutions to ensure the authenticity of notes in circulation. Also, the Bank periodically changes the design and security features of bank notes.

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Question 4
Which note is counterfeited most often?

It varies from year to year. For this reason, the Bank of Canada recommends that cash handlers routinely verify the security features on all denominations of bank notes.

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Question 5
How serious a problem is counterfeiting?

The number of counterfeit notes in Canada is only a small fraction of one per cent of the number of genuine bank notes in circulation. View recent statistics.

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Question 6
Why does the Bank of Canada not offer reimbursement for a counterfeit note?

Like other central banks, the Bank of Canada does not offer reimbursement for counterfeit notes because this could encourage counterfeiting for the purpose of reimbursement. It would be difficult for the Bank to differentiate between an innocent recipient and one who is trying to defraud the Bank.

The Bank of Canada's legal obligation to honour bank notes extends only to notes issued by the Bank of Canada. The Bank has no legal obligation to honour counterfeit notes.

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