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Counterfeit money circulation doubles in Finland

The number of fake notes found in Finland is still relatively low compared to other eurozone countries, Bank of Finland says.

Kahdenkymmenen euron seteleitä.
The 20 euros note was the most frequently counterfeited. Image: Henrietta Hassinen / Yle

About 908 counterfeit euro banknotes have been found in circulation in Finland during the first half of this year, which is more than double the corresponding figure of 426 in 2019.

"The number of counterfeit banknotes in circulation in Finland was higher than usual in the first half of 2020," banknote specialist Olli Vehmas of the Bank of Finland said. "Some people have succeeded in using, in particular, low-quality counterfeits such as movie money and souvenir banknotes as a means of payment."

However, Vehmas added that these notes are easy to identify as fake because they do not have the usual security features, such as the watermark portrait of Europa or the silver security stripe.

Among the fake notes found in Finland during the first half of 2020, the 20 euros denomination was the most frequently discovered counterfeited note, with 384 fakes discovered. This was followed by the 10 euros note (290 counterfeits) and the 50 euros (163 counterfeits).

Increased security features

In a press release announcing the latest counterfeit figures, the Central Bank added that the counterfeiting of banknotes is becoming ever more difficult because of the introduction of increased security features.

The authenticity of a banknote can be checked by conducting a number of simple tests, such as feeling the raised print on the note, or looking at the banknote against the light and tilting it.

Furthermore, if a note appears to be a counterfeit, comparing to a banknote that is known to be genuine is also a good means of determining its validity. Further instructions and guidelines for checking the authenticity of euro banknotes are available in English on the Bank of Finland's website.

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