Thousands of fake toonies have been seized in Canada. This is how to tell if you have one

An Ontario man has been charged after approximately 10,000 counterfeit toonies were discovered circulating in Canada.

According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), an investigation was launched in the summer of 2021 after the Royal Canadian Mint discovered an “ongoing counterfeit currency issue through their random sampling process.”

Police said through the investigation, the RCMP seized approximately 10,000 counterfeit toonies, which had been placed into the Canadian banking system.

According to police, there may be additional counterfeit coins still in the currency system.

Police said the seized counterfeit two-dollar coins can be distinguished by their primary characteristic flaw of having a “split-toe” on the right front paw of the Polar Bear, which resembles a “claw.”

“The unique features on Canada’s circulation coins make them among the most secure in the world and allowed these counterfeit pieces to be identified and removed from circulation quickly,” James Malizia, Vice-President of Corporate Security at the Royal Canadian Mint, said in a statement Monday. “The Royal Canadian Mint will continue to work closely with financial institutions and the RCMP to ensure the integrity of Canada’s coin supply.”

The RCMP said they arrested 68-year-old Richmond Hill man Daixiong He, who has been charged with uttering counterfeit money and possession of counterfeit money.

According to police, he was arrested and released on an undertaking. He will appear in a Newmarket court on June 2.

The charges have not been proven in court.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU GET FAKE MONEY?

The Bank of Canada has tips on what to do if you suspect you’ve been given a counterfeit.

During a transaction

If you suspect that you’re being offered a counterfeit note, assess the situation to ensure that you are not at risk. Then, do the following:

  • Politely refuse the note and explain that you suspect it may be counterfeit
  • Ask for another note (and check it too)
  • Advise the person to check the note with the local police
  • Inform your local police of a possible attempt to pass suspected counterfeit money
  • Be courteous. Remember that the person in possession of the bill could be an innocent victim who does not realize that the note is suspicious

After a transaction

  • If you suspect that you’ve received a counterfeit note, give it to the local police
  • If it’s real, you’ll get it back

With files from CTV News Ottawa’s Ted Raymond

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