Counterfeit euro banknotes withdrawn from circulation in Cyprus reached 451 in 2022, marking an increase of 113.7 per cent compared to the previous year, according to an announcement made by the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) on Monday.

At the same time, according to data from the European Central Bank (ECB), a total of approximately 376,000 pieces of counterfeit euro banknotes of various values were withdrawn in 2022, marking an increase of 8.4 per cent compared to 2021.

The CBC explained that this is partly due to the recovery of economic activity in 2022 after the lifting of most restrictive measures, which were implemented during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Banknotes with denominations of €50 and €20 continue to show the highest counterfeiting rates, accounting for just under two-thirds of the total amount.

What is more, according to ECB data, the €50 banknote had a share of 40 per cent of all counterfeit banknotes, while the €20 banknote came second with 23.6 per cent.

In Cyprus, the €10 banknote had the highest counterfeit rate, representing 40.8 per cent of the total, according to the CBC.

“Compared to the number of genuine euro banknotes in circulation, the amount of counterfeits remains very small,” the central bank said.

Furthermore, 96.6 per cent of counterfeit banknotes were identified in eurozone member states, 2.7 per cent in non-eurozone European Union member states and 0.7 per cent in other parts of the world.

“Despite the very small amount of counterfeits, the Central Bank of Cyprus advises citizens to be careful and closely check the banknotes they receive during their cash transactions,” the CBC said.

Finally, it should be noted that there is information on how to check the authenticity of euro banknotes both on the website of the Central Bank of Cyprus and the European Central Bank.