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Customer uses fake toonies to pay for items at Hawkesbury store

The OPP would like everyone to be aware of this and to be vigilant in assuring they do not fall victim to this fraud
20210112 fake toonies opp
These counterfeit two-dollar coins showed up at a Hawkesbury business. Courtesy OPP.

Counterfeiters usually stick to printing twenty or hundred dollar bills, so it's a mystery why someone would go through the trouble of making fake toonies.

But someone did.

On Tuesday morning Hawkesbury OPP officers were called to a store in the Town of Hawkesbury, east of Ottawa, in response to counterfeit two dollar coins being used to purchase items. 

"The OPP would like everyone to be aware of this and to be vigilant in assuring they do not fall victim to this fraud," police said in a release.

OPP released pictures of the fake toonies on Wednesday. It does not appear the crooks have a solid command of the English language as on the "tail" side of the coin is the word "DOLLARD"  with the picture of a seal. The letter Z replaces the number 2.

The obverse or "head" side should be a likeness of the Queen, but instead, it appears to be a man.

The Bank of Canada website , in a 2004 working paper, says counterfeiting is a significant public policy issue.

"Despite rumours of its demise, (real cash) is still an important part of our payments system," it says.

"For most of the twentieth century, counterfeiting was limited by the large investment needed for the engraved plates and offset presses required to produce copies of currency credible enough to be accepted. The introduction of sophisticated colour photocopiers and ink-jet printers in the early 1990s dramatically changed the technology of counterfeiting, and sharply lowered the costs."

The value of outstanding counterfeit notes in Canada was approximately $5.5 million, or 19 cents per person, in 2001

Counterfeiting is predominantly a problem of $100 notes. So why would anyone go to the expense of making toonies? Police would like to know.

The toonie was introduced to Canadians on February 19, 1996.

Anyone with information was asked to call Hawkesbury OPP at 1-888-310-1122.

Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.