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Number of counterfeit euro banknotes in the Netherlands increases

Number of counterfeit euro banknotes in the Netherlands increases

The number of counterfeit euro banknotes in the Netherlands increased by nearly 50 per cent in the first six months of this year as compared to the same time last year.

A total of 19.400 counterfeit banknotes was intercepted from January to July 2013, 18 per cent more than the 16.400 counterfeit notes recovered in the second half of 2012 and 49 per cent more than were found in the first half of 2012.

The number of counterfeit euro notes in the Netherlands had declined since mid-2009, but the summer of 2012 seems to have signalled the end of that. Nevertheless, De Nederlandse Bank (DNB) says the risk of being given counterfeit notes remains very low.

Worldwide

The number of counterfeit banknotes also increased around the world. A press release from the European Central Bank reported that some 317.000 counterfeits had been detected in the past six months, a 13 per cent increase on the second half of 2012 and a 26 per cent increase on the first six months of 2012.

Counterfeits denominated EUR 20 and EUR 50 are the most common denominations found, both in the Netherlands and other euro area countries.

Checking for a counterfeit

DNB says "robust security features protect euro notes from counterfeiting," saying that feeling, looking and tilting are simple ways to distinguish real from counterfeit.

Main security features of euro banknotes

 the watermark
 the security thread
 the see-through register
 the hologram stripe (on 5, 10 and 20 euro notes)
 the hologram patch (on 50, 100, 200 and 500 euro notes)
 the glossy stripe (on 5, 10 and 20 euro notes)
 the colour-shifting ink (on 50, 100, 200 and 500 euro notes)
 the paper
 the "raised" print

DNB has software available to check any notes you may have.

What to do with a counterfeit

Realising you have been passed a counterfeit banknote is not fun. Firstly, you won’t be compensated for it, and secondly, if you spend it, you will be committing a criminal offence.

If you know where it came from or who gave it to you, you can go to the police and hand it in. They will give you a receipt for it and, if they find it to be genuine, they will return it to you or remit the amount to your bank account. If you aren’t sure where you got it from, you can take it to your bank, who will follow the same procedure as the police, remitting the money to you if the note is genuine.

Alexandra

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Alexandra Gowling

Alexandra is an Australian citizen and an experienced expat, having spent (quite a bit of) time in Asia before coming to the Netherlands a year ago. She enjoys writing, reading...

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