TUESDAY, MARCH 13: The Bermuda Police Service has noticed an increase in the number of counterfeit Bermuda notes being reported to police in the past few days. Businesses are asked to remind their staff to be especially vigilant when accepting larger denominations, in particular the old style Bermuda $50 and $100 notes. Often the counterfeit $100 notes are being tendered to pay for low price items and/or services. The criminals look to target vendors who are busy and may be under pressure to serve quickly, reducing the chances that a fraudulent transaction will be detected.

If counterfeit cash is detected during a transaction, staff receiving the fake money should hold on to it, note the description of the individual who tendered it and contact police immediately. Businesses are further reminded of the earlier advisories given by the Bermuda Monetary Authority regarding the security features contained within genuine Bermuda notes.

The public is similarly encouraged to remain vigilant regarding counterfeit currency. To distinguish a genuine Bermuda note from a fake one, look for the tuna fish watermark (to the left of the note), the metallic security thread (just right of the tuna fish watermark) and the silver ship (to the right of the note). Also, examine the paper quality and check to see if the serial numbers on two notes are the same, as all genuine currency has individual serial numbers.

Acting Superintendent Sean Field-Lament reinforced the message, saying - “The Bermuda Police Service and its partner the Bermuda Monetary Authority urge all businesses to be extra mindful of the suspicious use of legacy (old style) Bermuda $100 bills in small value transactions. A cursory examination of these notes will thwart the use of counterfeit notes of the same denomination. When in doubt, take your time and examine the currency further. Members of the public are urged to contact police immediately when presented with any counterfeit bills.”

Any suspicious circumstances regarding counterfeit currency should be reported directly to the main police number 295-0011 or via the independent and confidential Crime Stoppers hotline 800-8477.

It is a criminal offence to pass to another, possess, make or reproduce any counterfeit currency; punishable by up to five years in prison.