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Police: Fake $100 bills in circulation

Members of the public are again being warned to keep an eye out for fake bills after reports of counterfeit Bermuda $100 notes.

A police spokesman called on businesses and staff to “remain vigilant”, noting a series of security features on normal bills including a translucent flower, a hibiscus watermark with a sailboat highlight and a hidden butterfly image visible only under ultraviolet light.

“Employees are once again advised that if counterfeit cash is detected during a transaction, the member of staff receiving the fake money should hold on to it, note the description of the individual who tendered it and contact police immediately,” the spokesman said.

“Similarly, members of the public should take a few seconds to examine any money they may receive by performing the ‘look, feel, tilt, check’ test, especially on the larger denominations.”

The four-part test advises to:

• Look — for the oval window in the note in the area of the wide metallic security thread. This window is present in each denomination.

• Feel — the unique banknote paper which is crisp and contains raised printing in bold colours. The colours are different on each denomination.

• Tilt — the fronts of the Bermuda $20, $50 & $100 banknotes and find the iridescent band, which is a gold stripe across the note with the denominational numeral visible in repeated images within the stripe.

• Check — that you can see the map of Bermuda and the letters BMA in the wide metallic security thread when the note is held up to the light. This is the same for each denomination.

“Persons who may have unknowingly received counterfeit currency are encouraged to contact the nearest police station at the earliest opportunity to report the matter,” the spokesman continued.

“As a reminder it is a criminal offence to pass to another, possess, make or reproduce any counterfeit currency; punishable by up to five years in prison — and those caught committing such offences can expect to be prosecuted.”

Any suspected counterfeit currency or related suspicious circumstances should be reported to the Criminal Investigation Department on 247-1744 or the independent and confidential Crime Stoppers hotline 800-8477.