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Status report on euro counterfeits seized during the first half of 2010


In the first half of 2010 a total of 652 counterfeit euro banknotes were seized on the territory of the Slovak Republic. This represents a decrease of about 40% quantity compared to the first half of the previous year when totally 1 160 counterfeit euro banknotes were seized. Almost all counterfeits were seized in cash circulation.

Breakdown of seized euro banknotes counterfeits by denominations

5 €

10 €

20 €

50 €

100 €

200 €

500 €




















During the reporting period EUR 50 was the most counterfeited banknote (39.7%) that together with the EUR 100 and EUR 20 accounted for almost 90% of all seized counterfeits.

From the quality point of view the fabrication level of counterfeits is in most cases moderately high. However, at the same time, compared to the previous period the share of the lower quality level counterfeits being namely of local occurrence has increased.

The frequency of counterfeit incidence is about 8 counterfeits per one million genuine euro banknotes in cash circulation what ranks Slovakia to euro area countries with lower occurrence of counterfeits.

Apart from the above mentioned counterfeits an increase of altered banknotes composed from different genuine notes was registered. In terms of the National Bank of Slovakia Act No 566/1992 Coll. as amended by subsequent regulations the counterfeits and altered banknotes are withdrawn without providing compensation. Therefore by accepting money it is necessary to check besides security features also the compactness of the received banknotes. Counterfeits can be 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 optical variable ink 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 as well as on the ECB website and on websites of the individual national central banks of the Eurosystem.

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


In the first half of 2010 totally 642 pieces of counterfeit euro coins were seized on the territory of the Slovak Republic. In comparison with the first half of the previous year when only 193 pieces of counterfeit coins were seized, this represents more than triple increase.

The most frequently seized coin counterfeits were those of denomination 2 €.

Overview of seized counterfeit euro coins by denomination

0,50 €

1 €

2 €












As for fabrication quality, the counterfeits dispose largely of good and very good technical level of preparation. Therefore it is relatively difficult for the public to detect counterfeits especially if accepted coins are not paid sufficient attention.

The frequency of counterfeit coins incidence is about 2 coin counterfeits per one million genuine euro coins in cash circulation what ranks Slovakia to euro area countries with lower occurrence of coin counterfeits.

The most accessible tool to detect a coin counterfeit is a simple magnet. As the genuine 1 € and 2 € coins have magnetic core, it is possible to test the suspect coin by application of a magnet to a core and subsequently compare its magnetism level with magnetism level of a genuine coin. It is also important to observe the general appearance and color of a suspect coin and these attributes compare with those of a genuine one. In case of suspicion with 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 website of the ECB or the NBS: