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Counterfeit US bills surfacing in Chilliwack

More than a dozen reports of counterfeit US currency have been made in the Chilliwack area in the past two weeks, Chilliwack RCMP say.

"Counterfeit US $20, $50 and $100 bills are surfacing at local merchants," RCMP Cpl. Tammy Hollingsworth said.

Cross Country Grocers in Rosedale, the On The Way Store on Chilliwack Lake Road, the M&M Meat Shop and nine different stores at the Chilliwack Mall and Cottonwood Mall have all fallen victim, she said.

The counterfeit bills are being printed on computer paper, and are slightly larger than legitimate US currency, police say.

In one case, the suspect was described as a man in his early 20s, possibly associated with a grey European car similar to a BMW.

To determine if currency is counterfeit, police are issuing these tips:

- Feel the texture. Genuine currency has slightly raised ink that is produced in the printing process. You should be able to feel the texture of this ink.

- Check for flatness or lack of detail. Look for blurry areas, especially in fine details around the borders. Real bills have clear, unbroken borders.

- Look for coloured red and blue fibres embedded in the paper. Counterfeiters sometimes try to reproduce these fibres by printing or drawing them onto the paper.

- Look at the serial numbers. Fake bills may have serial numbers that are not evenly spaced or that are not perfectly aligned in a row. If you have two bills with the same serial number, they are counterfeit.

Police are asking merchants to pay close attention to any US bills, and to call the Chilliwack RCMP at 604-792-4611 right away if they suspect a person is trying to pass a counterfeit bill.

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