Euro Counterfeiting

Fighting Fake Cash

20euro note_montage
Can a Greek goddess save Europe from counterfeiters?
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Counterfeit euros are a growing challenge for the young currency bloc. It is only likely to get bigger as the currency matures.

  • Facts


    • More counterfeit euros were in circulation in 2014 than in any year since 2005, according to the Bundesbank, with a nominal value of €3.3 million removed from circulation.
    • A new 20-euro bill will go into circulation in November, marking the third upgraded bill in the Europa series following the five- and 10-euro notes.
    • Release of a new €50 note and higher denominations are also planned, but a date for their release has not yet been set.
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Anyone who wants to fake euro notes in future will have to make it past a new and powerful enemy – the Greek mythical figure Europa.

The European Central Bank, the ECB, hopes Europa will do a better job of guarding the young currency’s gates and make a dent in the increasingly lucrative business of counterfeiting on the European continent.

The use of counterfeit money continues to grow in Europe, as the euro currency that has been used in 19 countries on the continent since 2002 continues to mature.

Germany’s central bank, the Bundesbank, said last year was the worst year since the early years in 2005.

To make counterfeiting more difficult, the ECB, which like the Federal Reserve in the United States is charged with printing money for the European continent, has been developing new security features that are slowly being rolled out across the currency bloc – the first upgrades since the notes were first introduced to much fanfare in 2002.

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