The European Central Bank has announced that during 2023, about 467.000 pieces of counterfeit euro banknotes of various denominations were withdrawn from circulation representing an increase of 24,2% as compared with 2022 when the number of counterfeits was exceptionally low following the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. €50 and €20 notes continued to be the most counterfeited banknotes, jointly accounting for 72,4% of the total. 97,2% of counterfeits were found in euro area countries, while 1,9% were found in non-euro area European Union member states and 0,9% in other parts of the world.
In Cyprus, during 2023, 642 pieces of counterfeit euro banknotes of various denominations were withdrawn from circulation. This figure is higher than that of 2022, representing an increase of 42,4%. The €20 note had the highest rate of counterfeiting in Cyprus, accounting for 41,7% 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 euro banknotes counterfeits, the Central Bank of Cyprus advises the public to be careful and 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.