That blue $5 bill in your pocket could be a fake

Iman Sheikh

Would you be able to tell if a $5 bill was being held together by tape and tin foil?

CTV reports that a cunning counterfeiting trend called “splice and tape” is affecting Canadians, with no clear geographical pattern.

Police say the clear panel with two embedded holographic strips to side of the bill is being removed and replaced with tape. The holograms are then substituted with foil.

The theory of investigators is that the real $5 clear panels are being used to generate higher-denomination fake bills, and the foil/tape patched up $5 bills are recirculated. Sir Wilfrid Laurier appears in the hologram toward the top of the $5 clear panel along with the Mackenzie Tower. The $20 bill clear strip hosts a hologram of Queen Elizabeth II at the top with the Peace Tower below.

According to CTV, several Vancouver residents couldn’t differentiate the real $5 bills from the splice-and-tape bills right away.

“This is what these individuals prey upon – people not verifying the bank note,” Bank of Canada analyst Farid Salji said.

The Bank of Canada’s website provides a rundown of the security features of all polymer bills in use. Salji told CTV that Canadians should always check two or more of the security features on their bank notes, so they don’t get duped by a Frankenstein bill.

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