Nanaimo RCMP are warning the public and retail stores to watch out for counterfeit Canadian currency circulating in the area.
Since Dec. 1, there have been four instances reported of purchases being attempted with counterfeits bills – three with Canadian $100 bills and one with a $20 bill, according to a Nanaimo RCMP press release.
“In each reported case, the counterfeit bills were of poor quality, ripped quite easily and the hologram sticker could be scratched off. These are not characteristics of legitimate bills and they should not be accepted,” said Const. Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP, in the release.
The serial number of the $100 bills is EJA8914981 and $20 bill serial number is AUV7313367.
The first reported occurrence involving the $100 was on Dec. 1, when a man purchased several antiques with three $100 bills. The store clerk told police the suspect pulled the counterfeits out of a large wad of bills.
“The suspect was extremely aggressive and managed to persuade the clerk into agreeing to the purchase,” noted the release.
In two of the incidents with the fake $100s, the suspect is described as being a Caucasian male, six-feet tall, muscular, with short hair. The suspect was wearing a ball cap with a camouflage bandana underneath.
Investigators do not believe the incident involving the counterfeit $20 is related to the $100 bills and may have been an isolated incident, the release noted.
Police advise anyone who suspects that a customer has presented a counterfeit bill should politely refuse the transaction and ask for another bill or other means of payment.
“Do not get drawn into an exchange with the customer, and if possible, alert other staff to your situation,” RCMP advise, adding that the incident should be reported to police once the customer has left the premises.
Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345, and quote file No. 2021-44597.