AMHERST, N.S. - Amherst Police are warning people of the presence of counterfeit U.S. $20 bills in the Amherst area.
In a press release, police say several bills have been passed at various businesses in Amherst.
The bills have the serial number JB44CYHNP and the N is printed backwards.
Police are urging residents and businesses to check any U.S. dollar bills they have – especially $20 denominations.
“We’ve had probably three in this area and there have been several reports from Truro and other areas of Atlantic Canada,” the department’s crime prevention officer, Const. Tom Wood, said. “We want to make people aware of their presence and the need to be careful when accepting cash. If they see an American $20 bill they should be aware of them because they’re probably not familiar with them.”
Wood would not say where the bills were passed in Amherst but confirmed they were at several businesses. While three were confirmed to be counterfeit, Wood expects there are probably more out there.
U.S. bills have several security features including a thread that runs vertically to the left side of the portrait (which can only be viewed when holding the bank note in the light). The thread is imprinted with the words “USA TWENTY.”
There is also a watermark of former U.S. president Andrew Jackson in the blank space to the right side of the portrait and the coloured numeral 20 in the lower right corner should shift from copper to green.
Older bank notes have different security features.
Police say residents should feel the bank note, as usually the paper it is printed on will not feel right if it is counterfeit.
“Trust your instincts and if the bill doesn’t feel genuine, don’t accept it,” Wood said. “If you feel it is counterfeit, then politely refuse the note and advise the person to check the note with the police.”
Wood said it’s a criminal offence to produce or pass counterfeit bank notes.
If someone has given you, or attempted to give you, a counterfeit bill, call the police department at 902-667-8600.