Counterfeit Cayman bills found

Royal Cayman Islands police have
recovered three fake Cayman Islands $25 notes
within the past two weeks and are warning the public to be on guard against
bogus bills in the coming days.

“These notes are usually passed in
supermarkets and bars where the lighting is poor and it’s very busy,” RCIPS
Chief Inspector Claudia Brady said.

Mrs. Brady said the three notes
were all found at supermarkets in the George
Town area and appeared to be of higher quality than
RCIPS investigators had seen in the past. She could not say if the notes were
made locally or overseas.

“We have prosecuted some people in
the past for (counterfeiting) locally, but the quality was not as good as
this,” she said.

Despite the quality of the fake
notes, Chief Inspector Brady said there were some obvious signs they were

“On our genuine currency, you would
never have the Queen printed on both sides,” she said. “These new ones that we
have actually have the Queen printed on both sides.”

In addition, embedded “window
threads” – essentially a line running down from the top of the note – are not
present in the counterfeited bills. Neither do the $25 notes have a “water
mark”. The water mark is a picture of a turtle on the bill which has the
letters C-I-M-A written on it. It can only be seen by holding the note up to a

“There are some notes that are
circulating that have “currency board” written at the top….that is not a genuine
note,” she said.

Also, typically counterfeit notes
do not contain serial numbers, and these are no exception.

So far, the police have only seen
fake $25 bills circulating with this most recent batch, but that’s not unusual.

“We have noticed the trend in the
past that the first print is a $25 note and they see how that goes through,”
Chief Inspector Brady said. “Once that starts to go through, then they start to
print bigger denominations.”

Over the past six years, Mrs. Brady
said the Cayman Islands notes are becoming
more popular targets of counterfeiters. Prior to that, it was typically fake US bills that
local police had to deal with.

She urged anyone who is passed a
note that looks suspect to alert the teller or store clerk who gave it to them
immediately. Once you put it in your pocket, there’s no guarantee you’ll get a
refund, Mrs. Brady said.

“If you’ve got a note…that was
passed to you from a supermarket or a bank you won’t get in trouble for turning
it in,” she said. “I can’t promise you’ll have (the money) returned back to you.”

Also, supermarket workers, bank
tellers and bar and restaurant workers especially should be on the lookout at
all times.

Mrs. Brady said a fraud prevention
seminar is being hosted by the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce early next
month and advice to businesses on how to avoid counterfeit notes will be given.


RCIPS Chief Inspector Claudia Brady points out the differences between real and fake Cayman Islands notes.
Photo: Brent Fuller


  1. The easiest way to tell if ANY bill is a fake. Lick your thumb and finger, and

    rub the bill hard and quickly like your making a money sign with those fingers.

    If the ink doens’t smudge, it’s real. This takes 3 seconds.

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