The Nanaimo RCMP is issuing a word of warning to the public and to retail stores, cautioning them to be aware of counterfeit bills that have been seen circulating around the community.
According to police, there have been four reported instances of purchases being attempted with counterfeit bills since December 1.
The counterfeit bills that have been reported in the four instances have involved either Canadian $100 bills or Canadian $20 bills.
Police say that the bills themselves are poorly constructed and look old and weathered.
The $100 bills that have been spotted are using the serial number EJA8914981 and the $20 bill serial number is AUV7313367.
Police say that the first reported occurrence of the counterfeit bills was on December 1, 2021, when an adult man purchased several antiques with three $100 bills. The clerk told police that the suspect pulled the 100’s out of a large wad of bills in his front pants pocket.
Police were told that the suspect was extremely aggressive and managed to persuade the clerk into agreeing to the purchase. The clerk said he noticed the counterfeit bill almost immediately after the transaction and called the police.
“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,” advises Constable Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.
In two of the incidents with the fake $100’s the suspect is described as being a Caucasian male, 6-foot-tall, muscular, and with short hair and wearing a ball cap with a camo bandana underneath.
Additionally, investigators do not believe the one incident, which involved the counterfeit $20, is related to the $100 bills and may have been an isolated incident.
“If you suspect that a customer has presented a counterfeit bill, politely refuse the transaction and ask for another bill or means of payment. Do not get drawn into an exchange with the customer, and if possible, alert other staff to your situation,” reads a statement from RCMP.
“When the customer has left the premises, only then call the police and report the incident.”
Anyone with information on these incidents is being asked to call the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345, and quote file # 2021-44597.