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Counterfeit Money: Protecting Against Counterfeit Euros

Gary Satanovsky

So far, we have been discussing the problem of counterfeiting only within the U.S., although it goes without saying fraudsters pose a problem worldwide. As a reminder of the transnational nature of counterfeit money, the European Central Bank recently issued its semi-annual report on counterfeit Euro seizure. Some 387,000 fake Euro banknotes were seized by the ECB during the first half of this year – representing a sizable decrease from the same period last year when 413,000 were withdrawn from circulation.

Now imagine your small business just completed a sale for a substantial amount of Euros in cash. How can you make sure the notes are genuine?

In fact, the UV devices offered by Fraud Fighter work on the vast majority of the world's currencies – including the Euro – most of which have fluorescent features far superior to that of the dollar. To help you distinguish the real Euros from the fakes, we are including a short list of UV-sensitive features on real Euro notes.

Below are images of the most popular counterfeited Euro denominations, the €20 and €50, side by side under ordinary white light and UV.


            counterfeit money         

            A genuine Euro bill under UV light


As you can see, the black light reveals several important security features:

  1. Only the patterns printed on the banknote glow under UV light. The paper itself remains dark and doesn't react to the lighting.

  2. Small fibres embedded throughout the note will glow red, blue and green

  3. The signature of ECB's president will glow green

  4. The European Union flag on the front of the bill changes color from blue with white stars under ordinary light, to green with orange stars under UV.

  5. Also on the front, the EURion “constellation” symbol with stars and small circles glows under under UV light.

  6. On the back of the bill, the EU map in the foreground, the drawbridge behind it and the value numeral all glow a solid yellow.

All Euro notes also feature intaglio printing, optically variable ink and holograms similar to the U.S. dollar, as well as several other unique security features, which we will profile in a later post. And if you don't have time to conduct counterfeit detection for all these features yourself, for quick scanning of multiple bills Fraud Fighter's electronic verifiers (currently, the CT-1000 and very soon the CT-550) are programmed with software to validate the Euro.

As always, we invite you to subscribe to our Twitter feed @FraudFighting for the latest in national and international business fraud news.

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