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Counterfeit Money

Producing, possessing, or circulating counterfeit bank notes are infractions punishable by law.

The Bank of Canada is the only legitimate issuing institution of bank notes in the country.

The print clarity and security features of authentic Bank of Canada notes make them difficult to counterfeit or reproduce. Nevertheless, counterfeit notes may be circulating in the country.

Authentic bank note

How to to detect counterfeits?

  • Feel the raised ink on the large number, the shoulders of the large portrait and the words “Bank of Canada” and “Banque du Canada.”
  • Look for transparency through the large window containing a metallic portrait and building.
  • Look at the details in the metallic portrait in the large window. It matches the large portrait.

What to do?

If you think you have a counterfeit note:

  • Compare it with an authentic note.
  • Go to your neighbourhood police station to verify the authenticity of your bank note. If it is counterfeit, a report will be filed, the note will be confiscated and there should be no charges against you.
  • Go to your financial institution to verify the authenticity of your bank note. If it is counterfeit, it will be confiscated.


  • Be especially careful during busy periods, because this is when fraudsters are more likely to strike.
  • Pay attention to customers who want to pay for something with a higher bill than needed.
  • If the customer gives you several bills, check the serial numbers: if they all have the same number, it is a reproduction.
  • Always compare a suspicious note with an authentic note.
  • Get a counterfeit detector.
  • Keep in mind that a person who pays you with a fake bill may be the innocent victim of counterfeiters.
  • If you think you have been given counterfeit notes, contact the police.

Find out more

Bank notes - Bank of Canada