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Status report on euro counterfeits recovered in 2021


The total number of counterfeit euro banknotes recovered in Slovakia in 2021 was 1,162, the lowest ever annual figure since the country adopted the euro in 2009. A total of 1,016 counterfeits were recovered from circulation, 11.3% fewer compared with the previous year (1,145). The overall number of recovered counterfeits was far lower in 2021 than in 2020, because in August 2020 a single police operation resulted in 15,002 counterfeit banknotes being seized before they entered circulation.

Yearly trend in the number of counterfeit euro banknotes


The counterfeit banknotes recovered in 2021 consisted mostly of counterfeit €50 banknotes and €20 banknotes.

Breakdown of counterfeit euro banknotes by denomination


While the quality of counterfeit banknotes is generally high, the public can detect them without special equipment if they stay vigilant when receiving banknotes. Genuine banknotes can be easily recognised using the “feel, look and tilt” method described on the euro pages of the ECB’s website ( and the websites of the Eurosystem national central banks.


In 2021 a total of 1,592 counterfeit euro coins were recovered in Slovakia, more than in any of the previous four years. All of them were recovered from circulation. Counterfeit €2 coins accounted for 88.3% of the total.

Yearly trend in the number of counterfeit euro banknotes coins


The technical quality of coin counterfeits is mostly high or very high, and it may therefore be quite difficult for the public to detect them, especially if insufficient attention is paid to coins when received.

Breakdown of counterfeit euro coins by denomination

 50 cent€1€2Total

The easiest way to detect a counterfeit coin is with a simple magnet. Genuine €1 and €2 coins have a magnetic core and therefore by applying a magnet to the core it is possible to compare the magnetism of a suspect coin with that of a genuine coin. It is also important to observe the general appearance and colour of a suspect coin. In the case of a suspect €2 coin, it is also recommended to check the edge lettering.

More detailed information about the common and national sides of euro circulation coins can be found on the websites of the ECB and Národná banka Slovenska.