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Status report on euro counterfeits seized during the first half of 2009


Since introduction of euro in Slovakia in January 2009, the number of euro banknote counterfeits has increased significantly. In 2008 totally 258 counterfeits were seized on territory of Slovakia, while in the first half of 2009 totally 1 160 counterfeits were seized and their value amounted to EUR 87 805. With regard to the multiple increase of counterfeits it can be stated, that in Slovakia similarly to other new EMU member states following euro adoption the number of counterfeits has risen. Compared with other eurozone countries this development is standard and Slovakia belongs to the states having an average or even lower counterfeit incidence.

The most counterfeits were registered in the first three months when 68 % of all counterfeits were seized. In cash circulation 996 counterfeits were seized, representing more than 85 %
of total number. The balance were counterfeits detected by law enforcement agencies before they were put into circulation and thus have not pose a threat to circulation.

Breakdown of counterfeits by denominations

5 €

10 €

20 €

50 €

100 €

200 €

500 €










1 160










During the first half year EUR 50 was the most counterfeited banknote (41,3 %) that together with the EUR 20 and EUR 100 accounted for almost 90% of all counterfeits.

From the quality point of view the reproduction level of counterfeits is well. The individual security features are simulated by using various techniques whilst the level of their imitation differs. Potential counterfeits can be in most cases detected without using special technical equipment provided sufficient attention is paid to the acceptance of money.

Indeed, counterfeits can be easily distinguished from genuine banknotes by using very simple test based on FEEL (check of the banknote paper and intaglio print – tactile effect), LOOK (watermark, see-through number, security thread, micro-perforations in the hologram stripe or patch) and TILT (check of glossy iridescent stripe and hologram stripe at EUR 5, EUR 10, EUR 20, check of color-changing number and hologram patch at EUR 50, EUR 100, EUR 200 and EUR 500). Combination of these steps reliably enables to detect a counterfeit banknote. The above described test together with its visual demonstrations can be found in publicity materials of the Eurosystem or on the ECB web site and on web sites of the individual national central banks of the Eurosystem.

If case of doubt about the authenticity of a banknote the easiest way to verify is to compare
a suspect banknote with a genuine one. If case a doubt still remains, you can address the National Bank of Slovakia and to submit a request for checking the authenticity showing the data of the banknote(s) origin.


In the first half of 2009 on the territory of the Slovakia 193 pieces of counterfeit euro coins were seized. In comparison to the previous year when only 17 pieces of counterfeit coins were seized, this represents more than eleven-fold increase. However, this development was expected and is considered to be a standard phenomenon in new eurozone countries.

The most frequently seized counterfeits were 2 € coins. The first three counterfeits of euro
50 cents coins emerged.

Overview of seized counterfeit euro coins by denominations

0,50 €

1 €

2 €












From quality point of view, the counterfeits are of good technical level of preparation. In most cases it is rather difficult for the public to detect counterfeits.

The most accessible tool to detect a coin counterfeit is a simple magnet. As the genuine 1 € and 2 € coins have the core magnetic, we can test the suspect coin by application of a magnet to a core and subsequently compare its magnetism with magnetism of a genuine coin. It is very important to observe the general appearance and color of a suspect coin and these attributes compare with those of a genuine one. At 2 € coins it is also recommended to pay attention to the edge lettering.

More detailed information about the common and single national sides of circulation coins can be found on web site of ECB or the NBS: