Counterfeit $100 bills have surfaced in Portage la Prairie and St. Claude this week. Businesses are being warned to be on the lookout.
RCMP Media Liaison Officer Constable Larry Neufeld says individuals came in and purchased a low-priced item, in order to receive a large amount of change.
On January 15th, Treherne RCMP were notified that a business in Saint Claude also received a counterfeit $100.00 bill.
On January 16th, the second business in Portage la Prairie located on Sisson Drive in Portage la Prairie had accepted a fake $100.00 bill.
"We have had one instance where several $100 items were purchased," notes Neufeld. "People are lined up in a cashier situation, and the tellers are in a hurry, and they just take the cash and put it in the till. With the high-value dollar denominations, I would have them definitely scrutinize them a little bit more, especially now that we've seen three within a week."
He explains counterfeit incidents seem to occur in waves, with the last round involving an arrest about a year-and-a-half ago.
"An individual down in the Treherne area was selling the counterfeit bills. I cannot remember exactly if they were 50s or 20s at that time, but now the $100 bills seem to be used in this area right now."
Normally, he notes, businesses submit the money to a bank, the bank discovers them, and informs the business. However, this time, he says, the business in Portage was sharp enough to detect it themselves, although it was too late to catch the criminal.
"We're just wanting the businesses in the area to just be a little bit more diligent," adds Neufeld.