Police in central Alberta said investigators were dealing with a number of cases involving counterfeit currency, and issued a warning to members of the public to be vigilant.

Since June 29, Red Deer RCMP said police have dealt with about 40 counterfeit money files, and seized a number of variations of counterfeit Canadian currency ranging from $5 to $100 bills.

The fake money has been used successfully and unsuccessfully at approximately 40 different businesses, including grocery, convenience and department stores, restaurants and fast food outlets, banks, casinos, lounges and bars, and gas stations.

Police have also seized nearly $1000 worth of counterfeit U.S. bills from one recent arrest on July 26 at the G.H. Dawe Centre.

RCMP are urging businesses to ensure staff are up to date on what to look for in fake money:

  • Colour photocopies of Canadian $20, $50, and $100 bills that have a clear polymer window from a real bank note, but in a lower denomination, attached. These fake copies feel like regular paper, rather than the polymer paper legal bank notes, and the polymer is often taped onto the copy
  • Legal $5 and $10 bills that have been tampered with, their clear polymer strips have been removed, and then they’re being passed off as legitimate
  • Photocopies of money that are smaller than legal Canadian bills

Anyone with information that could help Red Deer RCMP in their investigations is asked to call RCMP at 403-343-5575, or submit anonymous tips by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).