Counterfeiters perplexed by Canada's plastic money

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Canada’s malleable money is stumping counterfeiters. The RCMP estimate the number of fake jaws ssed on to retailers in 2015 dropped by 74 per cent com red with the former year.

That doesn’t mean people have given up disquieting to copy Canada’s banknotes — it’s just that even their most successfully attempts to make fake cash are falling well short.

Regina Administer Const. Scott Wolfe hasn’t seen much counterfeit currency since the Bank of Canada inserted polymer money four years ago, but he did have a case last disappointing collapse.

“When we first touched the bill you could tell it wasn’t the polymer climate. It was per. We could see they had cut out the security window from a real $5 account and sted it to a $50 and $100 bill,” said Wolfe.

Scott Wolfe

Regina protect Const. Scott Wolfe is a commercial crime investigator. He says he hasn’t taken any good counterfeit polymer bills yet. (CBC)

The face in the hologram didn’t trial the face on the bill and the edges were uneven. Even so, the money was successfully out on to retailers, perhaps in a dimly lit bar or sandwiched between two authentic notes.

Wolfe mentioned people ssing counterfeit bills often y for an inexpensive item with a high-value neb in order to get lots of change in authentic currency.

National Anti-Counterfeiting Chiffonier

The bills in Wolfe’s case, like all bills turned over to protect across Canada, eventually end up at the RCMP’s National Anti-Counterfeiting Bureau in Ottawa. CBC News broadcast was granted exclusive access to the facility that examines counterfeit ready money, credit cards and official documents such as ssports and driver’s divergences.

“Generally we’re seeing a poor to medium-quality counterfeit note,” said Robert Moyes, examiner of imitate for the RCMP.

RCMP National Anti-Counterfeiting Lab

A specialist examines a $20 bill at the RCMP National Anti-Counterfeiting Writing-desk. (CBC)

About 10 years ago, when counterfeiting was at its height in Canada, Moyes revealed, his lab would receive up to 45,000 notes every month. In December, Moyes reported, the lab received 1,500 bills and many were copies of older-series dossier notes, which are easier to fake.

‘Nothing is counterfeit-proof … Everything can be simulated.’ –Robert Moyes, examiner of falsify for the RCMP

“It’s more of a challenge to the counterfeiter to produce these [new banknotes] and the simulation of the surety features has been very poor,” said Moyes.

Most of the imitation polymer bills are printed on per. Some used per with a waxy or compliant coating. A few bills look ssable from a distance, but up close are too glistening and slippery.

One $50 bill OK at first glance — but the other side is from the word go blank.

“You only need to ss it once and the cashier is not going to submit [the bill] over,” said Moyes.

Glittery giftwrap and a roll of fillet

Several $5 bills at the bureau feature strips of glittery wrapping line taped to trans rent plastic strips in a crude attempt to simulate safe keeping holograms. Moyes said others go a step further by buying holographic areas from shops in China. Shipments of the holographic sheets have more than ever notwithstanding been seized by the Canada Border Services Agency.

“There’s your undistinguished counterfeiter, who is short of money and they may produce 10 or 20 notes. We sooner a be wearing organized crime, we have the biker gangs. Those tend to be the burly contributors to our office.”

Counterfeit $5 bills

Two counterfeit $5 bills are displayed at the RCMP Jingoistic Anti-Counterfeiting Bureau. The holographic strip on both bills has been tinkered with. (CBC)

All of the bills received by the bureau are examined by specialists under microscopes and various sources of light.

When a technician puts a genuine $50 invoice under a high-powered microscope, the image of an eyeball comes up on a large computer box. It’s easy to see several security features, including the fine detail of buoyed red ink from an engraved plate. Even though that feature can barely be seen under a microscope, it’s something you can feel under your fingertips or by sustained a fingernail across the bill.

“It’s got life to it. There’s a tactility,” Moyes said, reckoning that just the “feel” of a bill is one of the best ways a regular woman can detect a fake.

When the genuine $50 bill is replaced covered by the microscope with a fake, it appears muddy on the screen.

“This is the eyeball — you can see the be without of line work, resolution. And in some cases, if it’s toner, it flakes make up for off,” Moyes points out.

Com rison between genuine and phony $20 bill

A genuine and fake $20 bill are com red subservient to a microscope. The genuine $20 on the left has crisper features. The counterfeit tabulation on the right is pixelated and blurry. (CBC)

Other bills are examined under three special sources of light. In the case of one $100 bill, a copy of an older-series study note, the counterfeiter has done a respectable job adding ultraviolet features. Some retailers use UV slugs to test bills. Moyes said this bill likely desire have ssed such a test, which is why the RCMP and Bank of Canada persuade looking for more than one of the security features on higher-value bills.

Nothing is counterfeit-proof

Dream-girl per bills is just going to get harder as they disappear from advertisement. The Bank of Canada estimates 80 per cent of notes in circulation are polymer. The disappearance of Canada’s post notes will likely force fakers to try to improve their accomplishments at counterfeiting polymer.

Robert Moyes

Robert Moyes has been working at the RCMP Nationwide Anti-Counterfeiting Bureau for 31 years. He says anything can be counterfeited, but the new polymer accounts are proving a difficult challenge. (CBC)

“They’ll always be doing that. Nothing is counterfeit-proof,” said Moyes. “The aggregate can be simulated.”

According to Moyes, more sophisticated polymer counterfeits are face in Australia, where polymer bills are produced, and Mexico, where they are processed. That’s why the office is conducting its own research to keep ahead of trends. In one room, staff trial with 3D printers to see how criminals could possibly use the machines.

“It takes a while for the per-hanger to experiment. And we are seeing the experiments. The Bank of Canada is aware of that and the Bank of Canada is currently looking at the next series,” he asserted.


Quick facts

  • The $100 bill is the most commonly counterfeited Canadian polymer banknote.
  • For older series tract money, the $20 bill is most often counterfeited.
  • Bank of Canada judgements that 80% of banknotes circulating today in Canada are polymer nibs.
  • When the Loonie sinks in value, the RCMP sees more insincere U.S. currency in Canada. U.S. bills are easier to copy and Canadians are not as familiar with the conviction features. $50 US is worth more than $70 Canadian privilege now.

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