Status report on euro counterfeits seized during the first half of 2011

Banknotes

In the first half of 2011 a total of 720 counterfeit euro banknotes were withdrawn from circulation. This represents an increase by more than 10% compared to the first half of the previous year when totally 652 counterfeit euro banknotes were seized. Almost all of the counterfeits were seized in cash circulation.

Breakdown of counterfeits by denominations

 

€5

€10

€20

€50

€100

€200

€500

Total

number

14

19

231

227

163

50

16

720

 %

2

3

32

31

23

7

2

100

During reported period EUR 20 was the most counterfeited banknote (32 %) that together with the EUR 50 and EUR 100 accounted for 86 % of all seized counterfeits.

From the quality point of view the reproduction level of counterfeits is predominantly good. In spite of this fact the counterfeits can be detected without using special technical equipment provided sufficient attention is paid to acceptance of money.

Indeed, counterfeits can be easily distinguished from genuine banknotes by using very simple test based on FEEL - LOOK - TILT check. Combination of these steps reliably enables to detect a counterfeit banknote. The above described test together with its visual demonstrations can be found in publicity materials of the Eurosystem or on the ECB web site and on web sites of the individual national central banks of the Eurosystem.

Coins

In the first half of 2011 totally 786 pieces of counterfeit euro coins were seized on the territory of the Slovak Republic. In comparison with the first half of the previous year when only 642 pieces of counterfeit coins were seized, this represents increase by 22%.

The most frequently seized coin counterfeits were those of denomination 2 €.

Overview of seized counterfeit euro coins by denomination

 

50 cent

€1

€2

Total

number

164

132

490

786

%

20.9

16.8

62.3

100.0

As for fabrication quality, the counterfeits dispose largely of good and very good technical level of preparation. Therefore it might not be easy for the public to detect counterfeits especially if accepted coins are not paid sufficient attention.

The most accessible tool to detect a coin counterfeit is a simple magnet. As the genuine 1 € and 2 € coins have magnetic core, it is possible to test the suspect coin by application of a magnet to a core and subsequently compare its magnetism level with magnetism level of a genuine coin. It is also important to observe the general appearance and color of a suspect coin and these attributes compare with those of a genuine one. In case of suspicion with 2 € coins it is also recommended to pay attention to the edge lettering.

More detailed information about the common and single national sides of circulation coins can be found on website of the ECB or the NBS.