Euro counterfeits in Estonia
There were 462 counterfeit euro banknotes discovered in Estonia in 2022, which was 199 more than in the previous year. Despite this rise, there was fewer counterfeits in Estonia than in any other country in the euro area.
The most common counterfeits in Estonia last year were 50-euro notes, of which 271 were found or 59% of all the counterfeits. There were 82 counterfeit 500-euro notes registered, 45 10-euro notes, and 44 20-euro notes.
The numbers of counterfeit 50 and 500-euro notes rose because larger amounts of counterfeit money were confiscated in various operations that netted a total of 192 counterfeit 50-euro notes, and 78 counterfeit 500-euro notes. The number of counterfeits has also risen as economic activity increased after the restrictions on movement and travel that were introduced for the pandemic were lifted.
The counterfeits discovered in Estonia were mostly not very sophisticated in nature, as only simple methods had been used to produce the imitation notes. This should remind everyone that anybody can check the authenticity of a banknote and that careful observation is often all that is needed to identify a counterfeit. There are security features that can be used to check the authenticity of banknotes and that can be tested by touching and tilting the banknote and by comparing it with an authentic note if there is any doubt. The security features of the banknotes and how to check them are described on the website of the European Central Bank. If it is suspected that a banknote or coin is a counterfeit, it should be passed on to the police, who will send it to experts for testing.
For more detailed statistics on Estonia see the website of the Estonian Forensic Science Institute.
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