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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.