Counterfeit euro notes withdrawn from circulation in 2022 were down 24% from the previous year, reports the National Bank of Belgium, with 12,016 seized by authorities. However, globally, the number of counterfeits increased for the first time in years.
The €20 and €50 notes are still the most frequently counterfeited in Belgium, according to the bank. Together, they account for almost 70% of detected counterfeit notes.
The National Bank pointed out that the number of counterfeit notes in circulation is very limited compared to the number of genuine notes. Suspicious banknotes are also easy and quick to detect, authorities say.
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Across the world, 376,000 counterfeit euro banknotes were withdrawn from circulation, an increase of 8.4% compared to 2021. This increase is, according to the European Central Bank, related to the recovery of economic activity after the Covid-19 crisis. The number of counterfeits per million euro notes in circulation within the euro area is estimated at 13.
That figure has risen for the first time in seven years, up from 12 notes last year and 48 notes in 2015.
The fake notes are worthless and paying with fake money is a crime.