Police officers from the Financial Crime Unit are urging members of the public and businesses to continue to be on the look out for fake cash, with the holiday season approaching.
Recently, some counterfeit CI$25 notes have been found in circulation, according to a news release issued by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.
The notes – forgeries of the new Cayman Islands Monetary Authority 2010 series – all have the serial number D/1113950 on the front. These notes look exactly like the real thing – but do not have the usual security features that real notes do.
“We don’t want anyone to lose out this Christmas by picking up fake cash with their shopping,” said Detective Inspector Livingston Bailey.
“I’m appealing to the public and to businesses to be particularly vigilant. The shops are getting busier and people are rushing around trying to pick up some Christmas bargains – but don’t get conned into accepting fake notes as genuine currency.”
The police service advises business owners to ensure that their staff members are familiar with the look and feel of genuine notes, as well as the security features to look out for such as paper quality, watermarks and the metallic strips.
If retail staff receive a fake note, or one they suspect to be counterfeit, police said they should note the description of the person passing the note, as well as any companion. The note should not be returned to the passer.
The person receiving the note should initial it and date it close to the edge, then tag the note with a copy of the transaction receipt and call the police.
Anyone who is found to be involved in the production or circulation of counterfeit cash could face up to 10 years behind bars. In addition, anyone who receives a note which they believe to be fake must contact the police immediately as it is a criminal offence to retain or pass on the note.
Mr. Bailey and the monetary authority warned that if someone is in possession of a counterfeit note, they will not be compensated.
Some additional advice from the Financial Crime Unit:
Pay attention to the feel of the paper on which notes are printed. Genuine notes are printed on special paper that has a rough texture. Counterfeit notes have a smooth texture and will smudge or smear when exposed to water.
Pay attention to notes of all denominations – from $1 bills upward.
If you receive a note that you are not sure of, compare it to one that you know is genuine.
If you have counterfeit report forms, obtain as much information as possible from the person passing the note and write it on the form. You should also secure CCTV footage of the transaction and the passer.