The Impact of Counterfeit Currency on Businesses in Canada

Feb 19, 2024

In the ever-evolving world of business, one of the challenges that companies face, especially in the Canadian market, is the threat of counterfeit currency. Businesses across various industries need to be vigilant and equipped with knowledge on how to identify and protect themselves from this illegal activity.

Understanding the Problem

Counterfeiting is the act of replicating legal tender with the intention to deceive and profit unlawfully. In Canada, the creation and circulation of fake currency pose a significant risk to businesses, leading to financial loss and potentially tarnishing the reputation of those who unknowingly accept counterfeit bills.

Types of Canadian Counterfeit Currency

Counterfeiters often target high-value Canadian notes, including the $20, $50, and $100 bills. To combat this issue, the Bank of Canada regularly updates the security features on its banknotes to stay ahead of counterfeiters. Businesses should stay updated on these security features to safeguard themselves.

Security Features to Look For

  • Watermarks: Hold the bill up to the light to see a watermark portrait that matches the one on the bill.
  • Security Thread: Look for a metallic thread woven into the banknote.
  • Raised Printing: Feel for raised ink on certain parts of the bill.
  • Color-Shifting Symbols: Tilt the bill to observe color-shifting elements.

Protecting Your Business

As a business operating in Canada, it is crucial to implement certain measures to prevent falling victim to counterfeit currency scams:

  1. Training: Educate your staff on how to detect counterfeit currency using the security features outlined by the Bank of Canada.
  2. Invest in Technology: Utilize counterfeit detection machines that can quickly verify the authenticity of bills.
  3. Stay Informed: Keep abreast of the latest trends in counterfeiting and collaborate with financial institutions for updates on security features.

Reporting Counterfeit Currency

If your business encounters counterfeit currency, it is essential to report it to local law enforcement and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. By reporting such incidents, you contribute to combating counterfeit operations and protecting the integrity of the Canadian currency.


By being vigilant, informed, and proactive, businesses can mitigate the risks associated with counterfeit currency in Canada. Safeguarding your operations against this illicit activity not only protects your bottom line but also upholds the integrity of the financial system.

Remember, staying educated and implementing preventive measures are key to safeguarding your business against the threat of counterfeit currency in the Canadian market.