Any business that deals with hard currency needs to have a counterfeit protection plan in place. As an employer, it’s your responsibility to protect your store, your money, your employees, and your customers. If counterfeit bills enter your premises, your employees need to know what to do.
You need to train employees to effectively detect counterfeit bills as well as refuse them properly. Once an employee accepts a counterfeit bill, your business is liable for it and you are out the amount of the bill.
Invest in a Counterfeit Detector
The first step you should take is investing in counterfeit detectors. Authentic bills are equipped with security features that help differentiate them from counterfeit bills. However, not all of these features are visible to the naked eye. When your employees are busy and multitasking, they may not take the time to properly scan each bill for authenticity. And even if they do, they may still miss fraudulent notes. Criminals are skilled at replicating bank notes, and it can be difficult to detect fake bills just by looking at them.
That’s when counterfeit detectors come in. These devices are equipped with the latest UV, magnetic, and infrared technology that quickly and efficiently identifies fraudulent bills and notifies your employees so they can refuse the bills before accepting them.
Training Your Staff to Detect Fraud
Even with counterfeit detectors in place, you still need to train employees about counterfeit bills. The Bank of Canada website has an excellent section on detecting counterfeit bills, with seminars and materials that you can use to train employees. Your staff should know which security features to look for—raised ink, hidden numbers, and transparent features—so they can detect fraud if they’re ever left at the cash without a detector.
Refusing Counterfeit Bills
Identifying fraudulent bank notes is critical, but knowing how to appropriately refuse them once a situation occurs is also vital. You don’t want to embarrass a customer and you don’t want a scene to be caused in your busy store. The most important thing for your employees to remember is that the customer is innocent until proven guilty. There’s a high probability that your customer came by the note innocently and was himself duped. So if your employees detect a fraudulent note, they should never accuse the customer.
Manage the Situation
The manager on shift should be alerted immediately and another cashier should take over the register and keep the line moving. The conversation with the customer is going to be uncomfortable, so discretion is key; it shouldn’t take place around other customers. Your employee should take the customer aside and explain the situation calmly: that the bill he is trying to pay with is suspected of being counterfeit and that it must be refused, but another form of payment will be accepted.
Diffuse the Situation
The customer might get embarrassed or upset once he hears the news, no matter how calmly you explain what happened. So your employee might need to diffuse the situation at this point. He should empathize with the customer and make it clear that no one thinks he is a thief. He should also offer his help in informing the local police of the matter.
Train Before a Situation Occurs
Once you train employees to detect and refuse counterfeit bills, you should feel more confident that they can handle such a situation if it were to occur. You shouldn’t wait until counterfeit bank notes have been detected at your workplace or your employees won’t be ready to deal with it. Plan ahead of time and train them before anything happens, so you can trust that they can resolve the issue appropriately.