Police: Counterfeit $100 Notes Now Circulating

June 26, 2017

Bermuda police are informing the public of reports of counterfeit $100 notes circulating, reminding businesses to remain vigilant.

A police spokesperson said, “The Bermuda Police Service is now receiving reports of counterfeit Bermuda $100 notes in circulation and reminds businesses and their staff as well as residents to remain vigilant.

“Unique security features of the Bermuda $100 note include the flower see-through feature, hibiscus watermark with sailboat highlight and a hidden butterfly image [only visible under ultraviolet light].

“Employees are once again advised that if counterfeit cash is detected during a transaction, the member of staff receiving the fake money should hold on to it, note the description of the individual who tendered it and contact police immediately.

“Similarly, members of the public should take a few seconds to examine any money they may receive by performing the ‘look, feel, tilt, check’ test, especially on the larger denominations.

  • Look – for the oval window in the note in the area of the wide metallic security thread. This window is present in each denomination.
  • Feel – the unique banknote paper which is crisp and contains raised printing in bold colours. The colours are different on each denomination.
  • Tilt – the fronts of the Bermuda $20, $50 & $100 banknotes and find the iridescent band, which is a gold stripe across the note with the denominational numeral visible in repeated images within the stripe.
  • Check – that you can see the map of Bermuda and the letters BMA in the wide metallic security thread when the note is held up to the light. This is the same for each denomination.

“Persons who may have unknowingly received counterfeit currency are encouraged to contact the nearest police station at the earliest opportunity to report the matter.

“As a reminder it is a criminal offence to pass to another, possess, make or reproduce any counterfeit currency; punishable by up to five years in prison – and those caught committing such offences can expect to be prosecuted.

“Suspicious circumstances regarding suspected counterfeit currency should be reported directly to detectives at the Criminal Investigation Department on 247-1744 or the independent and confidential Crime Stoppers hotline 800-8477.”

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Comments (6)

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  1. sid says:

    Bermuda notes are easy to counterfeit and a source of money-laundering.

    We could simply switch to using only US bills, just like they do in several countries.

    The Bermuda dollar is a relic of exchange controls from the 1970s and should be scrapped.

    • PBanks says:

      I was under the impression that counterfeiting US currency is an ongoing occurrence.

      • sid says:

        You are right, US counterfeiting is an ongoing issue, but it is being combatted by sophisticated anti-counterfeit units at the US Treasury and the FBI.

        Bermuda currency, on the other hand, is rarely updated and nobody in Bermuda really knows much about how to stop counterfeiting.

        • PBanks says:

          Fair enough… we had a change to the paper currency a few years ago, think that was the first change in a long time.

          If I recall correctly both TCI and BVI don’t have their own currency. So if there’s a significant cost savings involved then, sure, look into it.

  2. Jayarr Veel says:

    You’re assuming that the Bda dollar will stay on par with the US dollar. However, if the PLP win on July 18, don’t be surprised if in a year or two’s time, the Bda dollar has to be devalued, as nearly happened under Dr.E.B.

    • sid says:

      The Bermuda dollar never “has” to be devalued. The Government can set it at par with US dollars or at whatever rate it wants.

      But if people don’t want to buy Bermuda dollars with US dollars because they don’t think it’s worth the value, the economy suffers. That’s what we have seen a lot of in the last ten years, with low US tourist and investor numbers.

      Devaluing the Bermuda dollar wouldn’t do much either way. Any increase in tourism would be offset by higher prices in stores. And since Bermuda debt is all in US dollars, devaluing Bermuda dollars would make debt repayment harder, not easier.