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Counterfeit banknotes are everywhere in Europe

Counterfeit banknotes are everywhere in Europe

A significant 28 percent increase in counterfeit banknotes was found in Germany last year. K, and a staggering 90% increase in nominal value compared to the previous year. According to the German Central Bank report, about 56,600 counterfeit banknotes worth approximately 5.1 million euros were withdrawn from circulation in 2023.

Burkhard Balz, a member of the Executive Board of the German Central Bank, attributed this increase to “a few major frauds.” The counterfeiters particularly targeted 200 and 500 euro banknotes Deutsche Welle.

While Balz acknowledged this increase, he stressed that the current numbers are far lower than the peak reached in 2015, when 95,400 counterfeit banknotes were seized. He reassured residents that the risk of encountering counterfeit money remains low for ordinary citizens.

According to calculations by the Bundesbank, in 2023 there will be only seven counterfeit banknotes for every 10,000 inhabitants in Germany.

The use of cash remains dominant in Germany, with approximately 60% of purchases made with physical money. A study conducted by the German Bundesbank last year highlighted continued reliance on cash, which differs significantly from trends in other countries. Germans usually carry around €100 in their wallets and keep €1,300 in cash at home.

The German Central Bank advises citizens to remain vigilant and notes that even commonly used banknotes such as €5, €10, €20, €50 and €100 can be counterfeited.

To identify counterfeit money, the German Bundesbank recommends using the “touch, look, tilt” method. In doing so, they physically feel part of the image on the faceplate, notice 3D elements that change when tilted, and check for a watermark that can only be seen when held up to the light.

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Due to the free flow of currency in the Eurozone, counterfeit money can also appear in other countries.

Cover image source: Shutterstock

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