Vancouver police have noticed a surge in tampered currency, specifically “splice-and-tape” scams, and are warning the public to take a second look at banknotes of all denominations.
Criminals are splicing $5 bills to remove the holographic strips and are then adding them to colour-copied $100 notes, making the phony bills seem less suspicious. They replace the hologram strip with foil or other reflective material cut in the same shape as the original and laminate it in clear packing tape. The blue part of the five remains intact, making the bill pass cursory inspection. The fraudulent bills are then slipped into circulation, allowing the scammers to make $105 out of a single five and a copied hundred.
Tampering with currency and even knowingly circulating tampered currency are federal crimes that come with a maximum 14-year prison sentence.
Bank of Canada analyst Farid Salji said most people don’t pay attention to smaller bills, “this is what [criminals] prey upon – people not verifying the banknote.”
“Regardless of what denomination you get you should always check your bills,” said Salji, “and never rely on just one security feature, always check two or more.”
Read more at CTV News