Seminar tackles counterfeit cash

You can’t always bank on the notes in your wallet being the real thing.

Counterfeiters are cashing on the availability of high quality printers to turn out funny money all over the world.

To try and help Cayman get a grip of the situation here, a counterfeit currency detection and fraud prevention seminar – organised by the Chamber of Commerce, the RCIP and the Monetary Authority – was held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Thursday.

Sponsored by Butterfield Bank, Cayman National Corporation, Scotiabank and RBC Royal Bank of Canada, the event gave business people and others the chance to pick up useful tips on how to cope with the problem.

Damian Kwaitowski, regional manager of paper makers and security printers De La Rue, gave advice on how to detect counterfeit Cayman Islands currency.

It was important to feel, look at, ’tilt’ – to examine watermarks – and check the notes carefully, he said

It was also important to look at all the many features of the notes and not rely on just one, he stressed.

There were lots of signs to check and he urged traders to take their time when making checks.

Customers could be in a hurry but if they were honest they would understand what was being done, he said.

And if a customer did get impatient it could be a suspicious sign, he added.

The bank note that cannot be imitated did not exist and never would, he warned, but every step was taken to safeguard the genuine currency, he added.

Detective Sergeant Orville Williams of the RCIP’s Financial Crime Unit, gave a talk on cheque and credit card fraud prevention.

He urged traders to watch out for suspicious behaviour.

Often the fraudsters tended to be jittery and in a hurry, came at a time when the store was closing or tried to rush a transaction, he said.

Also making remarks at the presentation were Wil Pineau and Joseph Hew of the Chamber of Commerce, Patrick Bodden of the Monetary Authority, RCIP Commissioner Stuart Kernohan and Sherita Riggs of the US Secret Service, who gave pointers on how to detect counterfeit US currency.

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