The European Central Bank (ECB) has reported a marginal increase in counterfeit euro banknotes in 2023, with €20 and €50 denominations accounting for over 70% of the total fakes.The European Central Bank (ECB) has reported a marginal increase in counterfeit euro banknotes in 2023, with €20 and €50 denominations accounting for over 70% of the total fakes.

Euro Counterfeit Currency Report: Slight Increase in 2023


Key Highlights:

  • Dominant Denominations: €20 and €50 notes remain the most counterfeited.
  • Distribution: 97.2% found in Eurozone, 1.9% in non-Eurozone EU states, 0.9% globally.
  • Comparative Increase: Rise in counterfeits from 2022’s low due to COVID-19 impacts.
  • Overall Trend: Counterfeit numbers still lower compared to pre-pandemic levels.
  • Total Counterfeits in 2023: Approximately 467,000 fake notes removed from circulation.

The European Central Bank (ECB) Monday reported a marginal increase in counterfeit euro banknotes in 2023, with €20 and €50 denominations accounting for over 70% of the total fakes. This marks a contrast to the exceptionally low figures in 2022, attributed largely to the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects.

Despite this uptick, the prevalence of counterfeit euro notes remains significantly lower than in the years prior to the pandemic. The ECB’s report highlights the following geographical distribution of these counterfeits: a majority of 97.2% were detected within the countries of the Euro area, 1.9% were found in non-Euro area EU Member States, and a small fraction of 0.9% surfaced in other parts of the world.

In 2023, the total count of counterfeit euro banknotes withdrawn from circulation was around 467,000. However, the likelihood of encountering a counterfeit note remains minimal. This perspective is reinforced by the detection rate of just 16 fake notes per million genuine banknotes in circulation during the year, signifying one of the lowest ratios since the euro’s inception.

The ECB’s continuous efforts in enhancing banknote security features and public awareness about counterfeits have been pivotal in maintaining this low incidence. Despite the slight increase in counterfeit numbers in 2023, the Eurosystem remains vigilant and committed to safeguarding the integrity of the euro currency against counterfeiting threats.

The number of counterfeit euro banknotes withdrawn from circulation in 2023 was low, with 467,000 counterfeit notes being removed. The majority of these counterfeit notes were in the €20 and €50 denominations. Euro banknotes are considered safe and trustworthy, and their authenticity can be verified using the “feel, look, and tilt” method.

By Silvia Orfeo

Silvia Orfeo is a Sr. Politics and Economics Reporter at Nobot.News

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