(Submitted photo)

The Chatham-Kent Police Service would like to remind everyone, especially local businesses, to be extra careful when accepting U.S. currency.

Police officials say since January, police have investigated 11 incidents of counterfeit American $20 bills being used to purchase various items across Chatham-Kent.

As of this date, two Chatham men have been arrested and charged with using counterfeit money.

A young person from Chatham was also found to be in possession of counterfeit money.

All counterfeit bills have the same serial #JB44CYBEHNP with the backwards ‘N’ which is derived from the Russian Cyrillic Alphabet.

These bills are being circulated all over North America.

The Chatham-Kent Police Service reminds everyone that being in possession of counterfeit money and using counterfeit money are criminal offences.

Local business owners are also reminded that they do not have to accept a bill if they believe it’s counterfeit.

Both U.S. and Canadian money have security features. Specifically, the U.S. $20 bill has security features that include:

– Colour-shifting numeral

– Watermark

– Security Thread

The Bank of Canada provides information on how to tell whether Canadian or American bills are counterfeit https://www.bankofcanada.ca/banknotes/counterfeit-prevention/

The U.S. Currency Education Program also provides information regarding their seven denominations and security features https://www.uscurrency.gov/denominations

If you suspect someone is trying to use a counterfeit bill or if you’ve received counterfeit money, please call us at 519-352-1234 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).