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RCMP Const. Tiffany Miller examines a suspected counterfeit $5 bill that turned up in Yellowknife last week.- Tara Kearsey/NNSL photo

Funny money surfaces

Businesses beware of $5 bills

Tara Kearsey
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Aug 14/02) - The Yellowknife RCMP are investigating a suspected counterfeit $5 bill that has turned up in Yellowknife.

RCMP are warning businesses to beware of suspicious-looking bills that are smaller than normal bills and brighter in color.

A local woman received a suspicious looking bill at the Black Knight Pub Wednesday night. She didn't notice anything strange at the time, but the following day noticed the color of the bill didn't look quite right.

"It looked like the colors had run and it looked smaller, so I thought I should hold onto it and ask my co-workers what they thought of it," she said.

The woman then forgot about the bill until she went to buy a hotdog on Friday. She then spoke with co-workers and called the RCMP to alert them of the situation.

Yellowknifer was on the scene when RCMP officers arrived. Upon initial inspection, Const. Sean Chiddenton noticed the color was brighter, the bill was significantly smaller than other $5 bills, the paper had a different texture and the tiny number fives that appear in sequence on the back of the bill were non-existent, just blurred ink.

But the most peculiar sign became apparent when Chiddenton noticed a small white space at the bottom-right corner of the bill, indicating it likely was a fake.

Staff Sgt. Tom Steggles said counterfeit money traditionally has not been a significant problem in the NWT, but high-tech color photocopiers are becoming a concern.

"All you need is somebody with that in mind and who knows what they're going to start with - a $50 or $5 bill?

"I would say we're looking at the small picture if they're only making fives. Who knows what else is out there though I guess," said Steggles.

Cpl. Bruce McGregor said the suspicious bill will be inspected by RCMP experts. McGregor said he will inform Yellowknifer of the results of the investigation.

In the meantime, Steggles warns anyone who comes across any peculiar-looking money should immediately contact the detachment.