280,000 counterfeit euro notes seized
In the second half of 2012 a total of 280,000 counterfeit euro banknotes were withdrawn from circulation. This means that the overall quantity of counterfeits withdrawn from circulation in 2012 was 12.4% lower compared with the figures for 2011.
At the same time, there was an increase of 11.6% as regards the quantity recovered in the second half of 2012 compared with the previous six months.
When compared with the number of genuine euro banknotes in circulation (on average 14.9 billion during the second half of 2012), the proportion of counterfeits remains very low.
Nevertheless, the Eurosystem – i.e. the European Central Bank (ECB) and the 17 national central banks of the euro area – continues to advise the public to remain alert with regard to the banknotes received in cash transactions.
Genuine banknotes can be easily recognised using the simple “FEEL-LOOK-TILT” test described on the euro pages of the ECB’s website and the websites of the Eurosystem national central banks. In case of doubt, however, a suspect banknote should be compared directly with one that is known to be genuine. Anyone who suspects that they may have received a counterfeit should contact either the police or – where national practice allows – the relevant national central bank.
The €20 and €50 denominations continue to be the most counterfeited. During the past six months, the share of counterfeit €20 banknotes remained the same and the share of counterfeit €50 banknotes increased. The two most counterfeited denominations together accounted for 82.5% of the total during the second half of 2012.
The President of the ECB today unveiled the new “Europa series” €5 banknote. The banknotes of the Europa series will be introduced gradually over the coming years, starting with the new €5 banknote on May 2 2013. The Europa series will include improved security features that take into account advances in banknote security and technology to make euro banknotes more secure and more durable. Further information on the Europa series €5 banknote is available at www.newfaceoftheeuro.eu.