Police advising businesses to be cautious of fake $50 making the rounds

Lethbridge Police are advising business owners to be extra vigilant when accepting $50 bills after multiple incidents where counterfeits were passed.

Since the end of February police have responded to five cases where counterfeit notes were discovered. In each case the bill was a $50 denomination designed to resemble the “Frontier” series of bank notes. The fake bills feel similar to a real polymer note, but the holographic images in the clear window aren’t what they should be. The window on a real $50 Frontier series bill contains a holographic portrait of William Lyon MacKenzie King along with the Centre Block of Parliament. On the fakes, the building appears to be from a $5 bill and the portrait is smudged or almost blacked out entirely.

Before accepting bills for payment, businesses are advised to check for security features by touching, tilting and turning the bill over.
-Feel the raised ink on the large “50”
-Look at the frosted maple leaf window to see it’s transparent outline
-Feel the raised ink on the “Bank of Canada” and “Banque du Canada”
- Look at the numbers that match the note’s value and at the word "Canada" that feels slightly raised
- Look at the metallic portrait in the holographic strip, it matches the large portrait. Tilt to see it change colour. Flip to see it on the other side
-Look for maple leaves that border and cross into the large window

A photo of one of the fake bills next to a real one is included for comparison.

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Media inquiries may be directed to:

A/Sgt. Paolo Magliocco
Economic Crimes Unit
Lethbridge Police Service
403-330-5092
paolo.magliocco@lethbridgepolice.ca