Fraud Prevention Month: It pays to check your bank notes

Fraud Prevention Month: It pays to check your bank notes

Do you know how to check the security features of Canada’s polymer bank notes, including the vertical $10 note featuring Viola Desmond? If your answer is no, or you’re not entirely sure, read on!

All of Canada’s polymer notes have leading-edge security features, helping us to stay ahead of counterfeiting threats. These features are quick and easy to check by sight and touch.

You can check all your polymer notes in the same way—feel, look and flip:

  • Feel the smooth, unique texture of the note. It is made from a single piece of polymer with some transparent areas.
  • Feel the raised ink on the large number, the large portrait, and the words “Bank of Canada” and “Banque du Canada.”
  • Look for transparency in the large window.
  • Look at the detailed metallic images and symbols in the large transparent window.
  • Flip the note to see the elements inside the large transparent window repeated in the same colours and detail on the other side.

By now you may have seen the new $10 note in your cash transactions. Did you know the new bill includes some enhanced security features compared with other polymer notes?

  • A colour-shifting eagle feather that changes from gold to green
  • A 3-D maple leaf that appears to be raised but is actually flat
  • Three maple leaves above the portrait

You can learn about the vertical $10 and watch a video about its security features at


There are more than 2.2 billion genuine notes in circulation in Canada. Bank notes are a vital method of payment used in over 30 per cent of retail transactions.

The Bank of Canada works to keep counterfeit levels low in Canada by

  • strengthening bank note security through ongoing research and development;
  • working with retailers to increase bank note verification;
  • working with law enforcement agencies to promote counterfeit deterrence; and
  • ensuring the quality of notes in circulation.


Whether you’re the clerk or the customer, you can help stop counterfeit notes from entering the cash flow. Check your notes, and you’ll be able to detect a counterfeit at a glance.

  • Compare a suspicious note to one you know is genuine. Look for differences, not similarities.
  • Check two or more security features.
  • If you do not know how to check an older paper note, ask for a polymer note instead.

For more about Canada’s bank notes, security features and counterfeit prevention, go to