The European Central Bank has announced that during 2021, about 347.000 pieces of counterfeit euro banknotes of various denominations were withdrawn from circulation representing a decrease of 24,6% when compared with 2020. €50 and €20 notes continued to be the most counterfeited banknotes, jointly accounting for about two thirds of the total. 95,4% of counterfeits were found in euro area countries, while 4,2% were found in non-euro area European Union member states and 0,4% in other parts of the world.
In Cyprus, during 2021, 211 pieces of counterfeit euro banknotes of various denominations were withdrawn from circulation. This figure is significantly lower than that of 2020, representing a decrease of 18,8%. The €20 banknote had the highest rate of counterfeiting in Cyprus, accounting for 26,5% of the total.
In comparison with the number of genuine euro banknotes in circulation, the quantity of counterfeits remains very low.
Notwithstanding the very small number of counterfeits, the Central Bank of Cyprus advises the public to scrutinise banknotes when transacting in cash. The Central Bank of Cyprus and the European Central Bank websites provide information on simple ways to check the genuineness of euro banknotes.