Skip to Content

Can You Tell A Fake Euro Note from a Real One?

fake euros cyprusThe Central Bank of Cyprus (CB) said that 768 counterfeit banknotes were withdrawn from the market in 2011, a rise of 18 percent over 2010.

Although the number of counterfeit notes is still relatively small in Cyprus, the CB recommends that everyone learns how to tell a counterfeit from a real note.

Almost 80 percent of counterfeit notes are 50 euro and 20 euro notes, and the third highest rate of counterfeit notes are the 100 euro ones.

Here is how you check for fake euro notes, according to the European Central Bank (ECB):

Feel the raised print – special printing processes give banknotes their unique feel. The paper consists of pure cotton, which feels crisp and firm (not limp or waxy). Special printing makes the ink feel raised or thicker in the main image, the lettering and the value numerals on the front of the banknotes. To feel the raised print, run your finger over it or scratch it gently with your fingernail.

Look at the banknote and hold it against the light: the watermark, the security thread and the see-through number will then be visible. All three features can be seen from the front and back of genuine banknotes.

Tilt the banknote: on the front, you can see the shifting image on the hologram. On the back, you can see the glossy stripe (on the €5, €10 and €20 banknotes) or the colour-changing number (on the €50, €100, €200 and €500 banknotes).

For more in-depth details go to the ECB's website here.


Will Greece's Cycle of Debt and Crisis Be Broken By the New Eurozone Deal?: