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Number of fake euro notes rises in Germany

Joshua Stein
July 26, 2019

Germany's banking authorities confiscated around €1.6 million worth of fake notes during the first half of 2019, most of them €50 notes. The Bundesbank is offering free online-training for spotting fake cash.

Frankreich gefälschte Euroscheine
Image: picture alliance/abaca/S. Lemouton

Germany has been hit by an increase in the number of fake euro notes in circulation, the Bundesbank warned on Friday.

Some 27,600 counterfeit notes are circulating in Germany with a false face value of around €1.6 million ($1.8 million) the bank said in a press statement. That is an increase of 2.5% over the second half of 2018.

The chairman of Germany's independent central bank, Johannes Beermann, said from the Bundesbank's Frankfurt headquarters: "There are about seven fake bank notes for every 10,000 people [living in Germany]."

The €50 note is most likely to be counterfeit out of any of the notes available in Germany.

Beermann said there was reason to be optimistic, after successes by investigators.

"We expect the volume of counterfeit notes to fall in the second half of 2019,"he said. "Investigators have recently made significant headway in apprehending a number of international counterfeiting rings."

German Bundesbank
The German Bundesbank predicted the amount of fake money would drop by the end of the yearImage: picture-alliance/Wolfram Steinberg

The €50 notes, lots of coins and teach-yourself

According to the investigators, the €50 note made up 65% of all forgeries in the first half of 2019.

The number of fake coins also rose, to around 19,800 in the first first half of 2019, a substantial increase on the 16,100 from the secondhalf of 2018.

The Bundesbank said it was offering free training in spotting fake cash to "any interested parties."

In checking notes for validity, the bank said they recommended a "feel, look, tilt" method, that they describe on their website.

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