Financial cops warn more fake cash in Cayman

| 29/01/2010

(CNS): As a result of counterfeit cash turning up officers from the RCIPS Financial Crime Unit are reminding the public, and the business community, to be vigilant and to be on the look out for fake currency circulating in the area. Police said that over the past few weeks a small number of counterfeit Cayman Island and United States dollar notes have been handed into the police. The denominations of the notes recovered are CI$25, CI$100 and US$100. Detective Sergeant Michael Montaque of the Financial Crime Unit warned people not to let down their guard on counterfeit notes.

“We are continually finding them in circulation. I’m particularly asking the business community to pay close attention to the notes they are receiving,” the financial cop said. “In the event that you receive a counterfeit note, or suspect one to be counterfeit, we ask that you observe the description of the person passing the note, as well as that of any companions. Do not return the note to the passer. Instead, tag the note with a copy of the transaction receipt and call the police.”

Sgt. Montaque said if businesses have counterfeit report forms issued by the Financial Crime Unit, they should obtain as much information as possible from the person passing the note and write it on the form.

 “Sometimes people who are unsure as to whether a note is counterfeit or not will tend to go ahead and deposit the note with the bank,” he observed. :”Unfortunately, once a bad note has been mixed with other notes, it losses its evidential quality. We therefore ask that any suspect notes be tagged with the transaction receipt, placed in a protective covering such as an envelope and set aside for verification by the Financial Crime Unit along with any video footage.”

Deborah Ebanks, Head of Currency at the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA), said it was important people get to know the little details of the Cayman Islands notes and take a good look at the notes whenever they receive them. “That is the best thing you can do to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of fraudulent currency. In addition, if you have notes from the A or B series, you can bring them in to CIMA to have them checked. Once we confirm they are genuine we will be happy to replace them with notes from the current series, the C series.”

The following information can assist in determining if a CI note is genuine or not.

 All genuine CI notes bear a watermark in the form of a turtle, which can be seen when the note is held up to the light. The watermark on the C series notes also includes the letters ‘CIMA’ above the turtle. You should be aware, however, that some counterfeit notes have the watermark so you should not rely only on this feature to determine if the bill is genuine. Each C series banknote has a metallic thread running through the note from top to bottom.

 The thread is imprinted with the words ‘Cayman Islands.’ In counterfeit notes the thread, if it appears, usually looks transparent or white instead of metallic, and sometimes has a grey shadow alongside it. Each CI $50 C series note has a silver foil imprint of a stingray on the edge of the note, to the right of the portrait of Her Majesty the Queen. On counterfeit notes, the imprint usually loses the silver colour and appears a flat grey.

Genuine CI $100 notes carry a shimmery, silver-coloured mark (called a hologram) in the shape of a Cayman schooner. This mark changes colour when the note is tilted. On most counterfeit notes, this feature appears a flat bluish-grey.

 The serial number on each banknote is different. When receiving notes, you should therefore examine the serial number for any signs of tampering. 

You should also 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 when exposed to water.

Pay attention to notes of all denominations – from one-dollar bills upwards. The possessor is the loser. The Financial Crime Unit advises the public that persons who come in possession of counterfeit notes will not be compensated. This makes it even more important for the public to be vigilant when handling currency notes.

 The RCIPS form for reporting counterfeit money can be found on the CIMA website, under “Currency.”

Anyone who wants further information about how identify counterfeit currency, or how to spot the real notes from the fake one’s should contact the RCIPS Financial Crime Unit on 949-8797.

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  1. Watering Hole says:

    I dontknow why customs officers do not look for this counterfeit money comming in the island.    Its there.

  2. Mozzie Fodder says:

    Police are also warning that a $7 bill is in circulation. If you receive one of these please take it to your local police station where you will receive $7 credit against your next seatbelt violation.