In the first half of 2020, a total of 908 counterfeit euro banknotes were detected among banknotes in circulation in Finland. The number of counterfeits has approximately doubled from the corresponding period in 2019. 

‘The number of counterfeit banknotes in circulation in Finland was higher than usual in the first half of 2020. Some people have succeeded in using, in particular, low-quality counterfeits such as movie money and souvenir banknotes as a means of payment,’ says Olli Vehmas, Banknote Specialist at the Bank of Finland. ‘These banknotes are easy to identify as counterfeits, however, because they do not contain any security features,’ he continues.

Among the banknotes in circulation in Finland the first half of 2020, the EUR 20 was the most frequently discovered counterfeit note (384 counterfeits), followed by the EUR 10 (290 counterfeits) and EUR 50 (163 counterfeits).

‘It is always advisable to check the security features when handling banknotes,’ says Vehmas.

Period (the first or second half of the year) 1/2018 2/2018 1/2019 2/2019 1/2020
Number of counterfeits 341 492 426 554 908

The new series of euro banknotes, of which the last denominations, the EUR 100 and EUR 200 banknotes, were issued last year, will help prevent counterfeiting. The other denominations were issued earlier. The banknote security features involve the latest technology, as a result of which banknote counterfeiting is even more difficult than before.

A number of security features have been incorporated into euro banknotes for authentication purposes. Banknote authenticity can be checked by using simple tests, i.e. by feeling the raised print, looking at the banknote against the light and tilting it. When in doubt, a suspect banknote should be compared directly with one that is known to be genuine. Instructions and guides for checking banknote authenticity can be found on the Bank of Finland website.

For further information, please contact:

Olli Vehmas, Banknote Specialist, Bank of Finland, tel. +358 9 183 3410
Kristian Meismaa, Detective Sergeant, National Bureau of Investigation, tel. +358 295 486 837