Counterfeit bills passed in local businesses

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Police, chamber of commerce officials have advice on how to deal with that

Olds RCMP have received three complaints of counterfeit American $20 bills since March 4.

Police and Olds and District Chamber of Commerce officials have some advice for businesses on how to deal with suspected counterfeit money.

Olds RCMP say suspects have used a specific technique when trying to pass those bills.

“The suspects have been loud and have attempted to cause a scene in an effort to make the clerk uncomfortable and to compel them to accept the money,” police say in a news release.

“Businesses are not obligated to accept American currency for payment; however do so as a courtesy to the customer. Alternatively, businesses can direct the client to attend a bank to convert their money to Canadian currency,” the release adds.

RCMP and Olds Chamber of Commerce officials recommend that businesses scrutinize bills carefully and educate themselves on how to detect potentially counterfeit bills.

“Everybody’s just got to be more vigilant. It’s definitely on the increase,” chamber director Stephen Dodwell says.

“If you own a business that deals with a lot of cash, make sure you’ve got the right detection equipment, whether it be the pens, whether it be the ultraviolet detectors and just the feel (of the money).”

He says the company he works for — the Pomeroy Inn & Suites — has “upped all of our security warnings and procedures” to deal with all kinds of fraud, including counterfeit money.

He agrees with Olds RCMP that a frequent technique of counterfeit money passers is to “get you when you’re busy.”

“Also if it looks like it’s too good to be true, it is. When they try to give you big notes and leave you a nice tip or something, that’s when they suck you into it,” he says.

dcollie@olds.greatwest.ca

“Businesses are not obligated to accept American currency for payment; however do so as a courtesy to the customer. Alternatively, businesses can direct the client to attend a bank to convert their money to Canadian currency.” OLDS RCMP

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Doug Collie

Doug Collie joined the Olds Albertan in 2014 as editor. He covers municipal politics, news, community events, arts and entertainment and sports happening in and around Bowden and Olds.