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Status report on euro counterfeits seized in 2011


In 2011 a total of 6 260 counterfeit euro banknotes were seized on territory of Slovak Republic representing the total value of EUR 1 005 205. This represents a fourfold increase compared with the previous year.

In cash circulation 1 362 counterfeits were seized. In various cases the law enforcement agencies detected 4 898 counterfeits before they were put into circulation – without any damage to the cash circulation. To the end of the year the Police reported a very successful seizure of 3 745 pieces of 100 EUR counterfeits and 1 001 pieces of 500 EUR counterfeits.

Overview of seized euro banknote counterfeits by denominations

€5 €10 €20 €50 €100 €200 €500 Total
pieces 29 31 425 495 4 103 91 1 086 6 260
in % 0,5 0,5 6,8 7,9 65,5 1,5 17,3 100

In comparison to the previous reporting period in which the most counterfeited banknotes were 20 EUR and 50 EUR, cases in the end of the year affected the structure of seized counterfeit banknotes – number of counterfeit euro banknotes of higher denomination e.g.
100 EUR and 500 EUR massively increased and accounted more than 80 per cent of the total amount of seized counterfeits. When compared with the number of genuine euro banknotes in circulation (108,1 million at the end of 2011), the proportion of counterfeits remains very low.

From the quality point of view the reproduction level of counterfeits seized in cash circulation is mostly good. Counterfeits detected before putting into circulation are mostly second-rate, without any imitation of individual security features or very pure quality imitation of them. Provided sufficient attention is paid to the acceptance of money, such counterfeits can be in most cases detected without using special technical equipment.

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 one that is known to be genuine.


In 2011 on the territory of the Slovakia 1 628 pieces of counterfeit euro coins were seized.
In comparison to the previous year when 1 409 pieces of counterfeit coins were seized, this represents increase of 15,5 %. The most frequently seized coin counterfeits were those
of denomination 2 €. However, it is possible to state, that compared with the number of genuine euro coins in circulation (419,9 million at the end of 2011), the proportion of counterfeits remains very low.

Overview of seized euro coin counterfeits by denominations

50 cent €1 €2 Total
pieces 348 239 1 041 1 628
in % 21,4 14,7 63,9 100,0

As regards the quality of fabrication, the counterfeits are mostly of good or very good technical level. Therefore it might not be easy for the public to detect counterfeits especially if accepted coins are not paid sufficient attention

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.