Last year, over one million fake euro notes were found, half of which were simple photocopies, only with Chinese holograms. This means a 30%-increase in Europe, according to German law enforcement agencies.
In Germany, 99 912 fake bank notes were found last year, according to the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany (BKA). This means a 1%-increase for the country, while the value of these fake banknotes amounts to a total of 17 million euros, which is actually almost 2.5 times as much as the sum from the year before, reports Privátbankár. However, the number of suspects and the initiated proceedings show a slight decline (3469).
When it comes to Europe as a whole, a 30%-increase in the number of fake banknotes can be observed, with the number rising to 1.17 million.
In total, the fake banknotes found are worth 102 million euros, meaning an 82%-increase in value.
It is important to note that the “darknet”, the secretive, anonym corner of the internet plays a significant role in the increase of fake banknotes.
Perpetrators and photocopies
Sadly, it seems like the perpetrators are getting younger, too, with the number of participants under 21 growing. There are both internationally operating organised forger groups and private individuals making use of the opportunities provided by the darknet. Last year, three major forger groups were exposed, one of them with mainly Turkish participants, the other with mostly Italian and the third with mostly German members.
About 40% of the fake notes were made by simple photocopying, with Chinese holograms added as the finishing touch.
The most often forged note using this method is the 50-euro banknote.
These then are propagated on the darknet, and delivery services make sure they get to those who ordered them.
Even though forging euro coins also occurs, the focus was on the banknotes this time due to their higher value. Misappropriating online currency was also left out of the German Federal Criminal Police Office’s report.
What to do
Luckily, there are ways that help you recognise fake banknotes. It is better to check multiple security elements instead of just one. You should memorise these and go through the list, in the process of which folding the note and feeling the texture can be helpful. Comparing the suspicious note to one that is real can also be a smart way of identifying fake euros. Otherwise, you can always turn to a bank to ask for help.