Increase in Counterfeit Money in Germany and How to Counter It

The popularity of counterfeit money in Germany is on the rise, with the damage caused by counterfeit euro notes now exceeding the total damage for the entire previous year.

The counterfeit 200 and 500 euro notes are the main reason for this increase in damage, with a value of 2.9 million euros after just six months of this year, which significantly exceeds the value of last year (2.7 million euros), according to announcements by the German Central Bank.

Counterfeit money in Germany

Increase in Counterfeit Money in Germany and How to Counter It

Surprisingly, the quality of the counterfeit bills is not high-level. They are easily reminiscent of the money used in movies and online theater plays. However, the criminals still succeeded in paying with large amounts of counterfeit money to buy jewelry, gold, luxury watches, and expensive cars.

During the period from January to June of this year, 26,690 counterfeit banknotes were found in Germany, while the previous highest figure was recorded in the first half of 2020, at 34,118 notes.

Statistics show a significant increase in the number of counterfeit 200 and 500 euro notes compared to last year. The number of counterfeit 200 euro notes has increased by about 15% to reach 4,111 notes, while the number of counterfeit 500 euro notes has increased by almost four times to reach 2,178 notes.

The 500 euro banknotes accounted for about 8% of the total counterfeit notes in the first half of 2023, despite being discontinued by central banks since the beginning of 2019.

On the other hand, European central banks continue to develop new security features to make it more difficult for criminals to counterfeit banknotes.

The new steps are aimed at reducing counterfeiting and minimizing environmental impact. The European Central Bank also encourages citizens to participate in the process of choosing the design of the third series of banknotes, where the public can vote on their favorite themes such as European culture, birds, rivers, and hands.

Despite the widespread use of digital payment methods, cash remains essential and important in society. Jens Weidmann, a member of the German Central Bank’s board of directors, emphasizes the importance of maintaining innovative, secure, and efficient banknotes as a reliable means of payment.

In this context, the European Central Bank reaffirms its strong commitment to the future of cash in the euro area.

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