Businesses in Lethbridge are being advised to take a close look at any $100 bills being spent after dozens of counterfeits have been used in recent months.

Police say there has been an increase since July in the number of fake bills being passed in the southern Alberta city.

And some of the reproductions haven’t been all that good.

“Many include the holographic strip from lower denominations, primarily $5s, in place of the proper $100 strip,” police said in a release.

Counterfeit bills have been spent at convenience stores, big box stores, coffee shops and other businesses.

Some tips for merchants include:

  • Feel the raised ink on the large number
  • Look at the frosted maple leaf window to see its transparent outline
  • Feel the raised ink on the words “Bank of Canada” and “Banque du Canada”
  • Look at the numbers that match the note’s value and at the word “Canada” that feels slight raised
  • Look at the metallic portrait as it matches the large portrait and when tilted changes colour. Flip the bill to also see it on the other side
  • Look for maple leaves that border and cross into the large window

Businesses that have received a counterfeit bill or anyone with information is asked to contact police at 403-328-4444 or Crime Stoppers 1-800-222-8477.