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Euro Banknotes



The euro is the sole currency in 17 EU countries, so over 300 million people need to be able to trust euro banknotes. The first series of banknotes already contained easy-to-check security features, and these have been further enhanced in the Europa series.

How can I tell if a banknote is genuine?

Just like the first series of euro banknotes, the Europa series is easy to check. Simply use the FEEL, LOOK and TILT method to verify the security features before accepting the banknote.

What should I do if I suspect a banknote is fake?

General information 

If any euro banknotes you have do not comply with the FEEL, LOOK and TILT method, they are probably fake and you shouldn’t accept them.

If, however, you think you have a counterfeit banknote, you should immediately inform the police or the relevant national authorities.

To make sure whether the banknote is genuine or not, you could take it to your nearest bank.

All banks have special cash handling equipment that can check whether a euro banknote is genuine. Try to remember where, when and from whom you got the banknote. This information can be invaluable in helping to track down counterfeiters.

It is a criminal offence to pass on a banknote which you believe or know is a counterfeit. Since fake banknotes are completely worthless, be vigilant. You will receive no compensation for accepting a fake banknote.

Making counterfeiting more difficult

The Europa series of euro banknotes incorporates enhanced security features that use advanced technology to make counterfeiting more difficult.

For further information, contact your national central bank.

Information for cash handlers

If you handle large quantities of money every day, you could come across a suspect banknote. Here are some tips if you are uncertain about a note.

- tell the customer that you need to speak briefly to your supervisor or a security
  officer, but ensure that the customer can always see the banknote
- make a mental note of the customer’s appearance
- try to stall him/her
- contact the police
- make a note of his/her number plate and the car make and model (assuming he/she leaves by car)
- hand over the suspect banknote without delay to your supervisor or security officer for forwarding to
  the police
- make sure you are safe at all times

- get into argument with the customer
- prevent the customer from leaving even if he/she has been asked to wait for the police
- return the banknote to the customer if at all possible