Apparently, new fake toonies could be circulating in some provinces.
There are a few slight differences between the counterfeit $2 coins and real Canadian toonies that can help you spot these fakes in your change.
In November 2023, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) announced that charges had been laid against an individual after "a major counterfeit money smuggling investigation" in Canada.
That investigation was launched in January of this year after 12,049 toonies were intercepted by CBSA's courier inspection operations at Montreal–Mirabel International Airport.
Then, on February 7, 2023, CBSA — with the assistance of the Sûreté du Québec — executed search warrants at a home in the Sorel-Tracy area of Quebec and seized an additional 14,581 $2 Canadian coins.
Analyses with the forensic laboratory of the RCMP's National Anti-Counterfeit Bureau and the Royal Canadian Mint revealed that all of the seized $2 coins were fake.
Jean-François Généreux is facing charges including buying, importing and possessing currency, and providing false information in a customs declaration, CBSA announced.
According to Global News, coin expert Mike Marshall said that this is a new variety of counterfeit toonie circulating in Canada now, allegedly in Ontario and Quebec.
CBSA recently gave Global News photos of the seized fake $2 coins and Marshall explained how to spot this fake toonie.
So, if you're wondering what to look for in your change, here are the differences:
- Queen Elizabeth's nose is longer and sharper on the fake coin's "head" side
- the maple leaf above the queen's head on the fake coins doesn't appear on real toonies from 2012
- the "$" symbol beneath the polar bear on the fake coins is between two maple leaves instead of the "2" that's in the spot on the real coin
- "CANADA" is on the fake coin to the right of the polar bear's head but the real coin has "DOLLAR" in that spot
- the "2012" year is curved or slightly arced on the fake coins but the year is in a straight line on a real toonie
Marshall also told Global News that this coin is different than the fake "camel-toe toonie" that was discovered last year and traced back to someone in the Greater Toronto Area.
Back in 2022, the RCMP arrested and charged an Ontario man related to counterfeit toonies and around 10,000 fake $2 coins that made it into circulation were seized.
You could spot the fake toonies because of a slight difference with the polar bear — it had a "split toe" on the right front paw which made it look more like a claw than a paw.
Daixiong He was charged with uttering counterfeit money and possession of counterfeit money.
Also, earlier that same year, Ontario Provincial Police put out a warning about fake $2 coins that were used to make purchases near Ottawa.
Unlike the counterfeit toonies discovered by CBSA and RCMP in 2023 and 2022, these fakes were a bit easier to spot.
The $2 coins had a walrus instead of a polar bear, "CANADA Z DOLLARD" instead of "CANADA 2 DOLLAR," "P.G. REGINA" instead of "D.G. REGINA," and a portrait of a man instead of Queen Elizabeth's effigy.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.