Paper Money

Circulation of counterfeit euro notes declines in Germany

The number of appearances of counterfeit versions of genuine euro notes like this €20 bank notes is in general decline, but this denomination and the €50 note are counterfeited most often.

Images courtesy of Wikimedia.

The amount of counterfeit money in Germany fell to the lowest level since 2013 in the first half of 2022 reports the Globe Echo, an independent English newspaper based in London.

But, it adds, the financial damage increased because the most commonly counterfeited denominations were the €20 and €50 bank notes.

The Deutsche Bundesbank said 19,789 counterfeit euro bank notes were pulled from circulation in the first half of the year by police, retailers, and banks. This was almost 3.9% fewer than in the second half of 2021 and the fewest since the second half of 2013. The Bundesbank, Germany’s central bank, attributed the decline to high-quality security features, information campaigns, and training courses, as well as good cooperation with the law enforcement authorities.

Despite the lower incidence, the financial damage increased by about 11%, to €991,690, compared to the last half of 2021. The €20 and €50 euro notes together accounted for 77% of the notes seized. The probability of getting a counterfeit bank note is still low. There were five counterfeit bank notes per every 10,000 inhabitants.

The effect of the pandemic on counterfeiting should be known later this year, since restrictions made it more difficult for the forgers to move their goods in public settings and led to a 16.7% decrease in incidents. The police say that now more than half of the counterfeit money found in Germany is being sold online by encrypted messenger services or on the Darknet.

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