The total number of counterfeit euro banknotes withdrawn from circulation in the eurozone fell by 2 per cent in the second half of 2015 compared with the first six months of the year, according to a European Central Bank announcement.
In Cyprus a total 414 counterfeit euro banknotes were withdrawn in the second half of 2015, which was up on the number withdrawn in the first half of the year. The announcement did not specify by how much.
In total 445,000 counterfeit euro banknotes were withdrawn from circulation in the eurozone in the second half of 2015 compared with 454,000 in the first half of the year and 507,000 in the second half of 2014.
Banknotes of €20 and €50 comprised the highest denomination for counterfeiting, accounting for 46.2 per cent and 37.1 per cent of the total respectively in the eurozone.
In Cyprus the €50 was the banknote of preference for counterfeiters, representing 40.6 per cent of those withdrawn. Together with the €20 note they accounted for 83.3 per cent of fakes withdrawn from circulation in Cyprus.
Compared with the number of real euro banknotes in circulation – over 18 billion – in the second half of 2015 – counterfeits comprise a low percentage, the ECB said.
The Central Bank of Cyprus urges the public to carefully check euro banknotes they receive during cash transactions using the “feel, look and tilt” method described on its website and on the euro pages of the ECB’s website.