Status report on euro counterfeits seized in 2013

Banknotes

In 2013 a total of 2,715 counterfeit euro banknotes were seized on the territory of the Slovak Republic representing the value of EUR 336,625. Compared to the previous year the volume was increased by 88%.

Out of the total, 2,648 counterfeits were seized in cash circulation. The rest was detected by law enforcement agencies before putting into circulation and thus have not threatened circulation.

The half-yearly trend in the number of seized counterfeits

Period

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

I.

II.

I.

II.

I.

II.

I.

II.

I.

II.

Pieces

1,163

938

664

789

720

5,540

790

654

979

1,736

During the reporting period EUR 100 was the most counterfeited banknote (49.4 %) that together with the EUR 50 (17.7 %) and EUR 20 accounted for more than 82 % of all seized counterfeits.

Breakdown of counterfeits by denominations

 

€5

€10

€20

€50

€100

€200

€500

Total

Pieces

9

59

412

481

1,341

123

290

2,715

%

0.3

2.2

15.2

17.7

49.4

4.5

10.7

100

The quality of seized counterfeits is mostly good. There are various security features imitated on the counterfeits, however, this imitation is imperfect. Potential counterfeits can be detected without using special technical equipment provided sufficient attention is paid to the 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 www.ecb.int and on web sites of the individual national central banks of the Eurosystem.

Coins

In 2013 a total of 32,487 counterfeit euro coins were seized on the territory of the Slovak Republic. Out of it 5,752 pieces were seized in cash circulation, which represents increase by 91% in comparison with the previous year, when 3,007 pieces of counterfeit coins were seized in circulation. Irregular in the 2013 was the case, when the law enforcement agencies seized 26,735 pieces of 2 € counterfeit coins before putting into circulation. The most frequently seized coin counterfeits were those of denomination 2 €, which represent share of 97.4 %. Despite increase of number of counterfeits it is possible to state, that compared with the total number of genuine euro coins in circulation, their share still remains very low.

The half-yearly trend in the number of seized counterfeit euro coins

Period

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

I.

II.

I.

II.

I.

II.

I.

II.

I.

II.

Pieces

193

617

642

767

786

842

896

2,111

3,216

29,271

Breakdown of seized euro coin counterfeits by denominations

 

50 cent

€1

€2

Total

Pieces

580

247

31,660

32,487

%

1.8

0.8

97.4

100.0

As regards the quality of fabrication, the counterfeits are mostly of good or very good technical level. Therefore it might not be easy for the public to detect counterfeits especially if not sufficient attention is paid to accepted coins.

The most accessible tool to detect a coin counterfeit is a simple magnet. As the genuine 1 € and 2 € coins have a 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 colour of a suspect coin and these attributes compare with those of a genuine one. In case of suspicion of 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.