Paper Money

Counterfeit euros begin to appear in parts of France

Counterfeit €10 and €20 notes are being noticed in circulation in a region of France as unsuspecting merchants become victims.

Images by The Connexion.

The police in the southwestern French department of Lot took to Facebook to post a notice that they discovered counterfeit euros being used in the northern part of the province.

The news was provided by The Connexion, a website devoted to French news in English. The report told of attempts by perpetrators to issue and pass counterfeit notes, particularly €20 and €50 notes. But the problem appears to be broader than that, considering that the photo posted by the police on Facebook shows piles of €10 and €20 notes in plastic envelopes marked in French, “Sealed, do not open.”

The notes were reported to also have been passed in the nearby departments of Aveyron and Tarn-et-Garonne, where the most affected appeared to be small traders, itinerant merchants, and farmers. Almost €7,000 of counterfeit €20 and €50 were confiscated by authorities in November from men in Tarn-et-Garonne. They were using the fake notes via advertisements in the online site Leboncoin to buy a number of items, including over 30 ducklings. The men were caught after the farmer who sold the ducklings noticed the notes that buyers used were counterfeit.

Leboncoin is a free service with over 800,000 ads and one of the most visited websites in France, with a €64-million net income in 2019. The site is described in Wikipedia as a collaborative consumption platform that enables the matching of local supply and demand by allowing individuals in France to get in touch with each other when they want to buy or sell. It is free for individuals. For this aspect of the service, an online payment function is not necessary.

By all indications, the fakes are not so good. The Connexion says they are easily detectable by sight and feel.

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