PENTICTON, British Columbia - A flood of counterfeit bills are being passed in British Columbia, prompting police to issue alerts to merchants to be on the lookout, the Vancouver Sun reports.
"The typical modus operandi is for the passer to make an inexpensive purchase and pay with a large denomination, in turn receiving a large percentage of change back in authentic currency, leaving the bogus bill in the till," said Cpl. Dan Moskaluk with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
Over the past two weeks, the police have gotten more than 20 complaints about counterfeit bills, which involved $20, $50 and $100 denominations. Moskaluk said retailers most likely to receive bogus bills include convenience stores, supermarkets and bars.
"Customarily, what we do see at times is that drinking establishments might be victimized because there's lower light and a higher volume of clientele, so there's a lower chance of being detected," he said. The police suspect the bogus currency is trafficked similar to drugs, with a central location parceling out the counterfeit bank notes to wholesalers, who then pass them along to street-level dealers.
Isabelle Jacques, senior analyst with the Bank of Canadaï¿½ï¿½s Vancouver currency office, said the new bank note series would be more sophisticated than ever before. "They're basically the most advanced notes that we've ever issued in Canada," she said. Jacques noted that overall, counterfeiting has been decreasing in recent years.