Last week, the Bank of Canada released the new $50 banknote into circulation. Have you had the chance to see one yet?

The new $50 is a polymer banknote made of more durable material. It has what the Bank of Canada describes as “a unique combination of state-of-the-art security features, making them the most secure banknotes ever issued in Canada”. Last year, over 50,000 counterfeit bank notes were circulated within Canada. This is actually a small amount when you consider that over 500,000 counterfeit notes were in circulation within Canada in 2004.

Familiarizing yourself with what a genuine banknote looks like is one way to protect yourself against fraud. The new $50 banknote has a few new security features including a transparent window, metallic ink, and hidden numbers. You can find a list of the new security features on the Bank of Canada’s “Polymer Series” webpage

If you are presented with currency that you suspect is counterfeit, here are some suggestions on how to approach the situation:

  • If you are in a safe place, refuse the note as you suspect it may be counterfeit.
  • Request a different note and check to see if it is genuine.
  • Suggest the person bring the suspicious note to the local police.
  • Inform your local police of a possible attempt to pass suspected counterfeit money.

Keep in mind that the person who is in possession of the bill could be an innocent victim who did not know that the bill is counterfeit. If you receive counterfeit money after a transaction is complete, bring the money down to the local police. If the money is real, you’ll get it back.

We all have a responsibility to fight against fraud. Ensuring that we are familiar with our money makes us smart and savvy consumers.

For more information on the new $50 banknote, visit the Bank of Canada’s website.


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