In 2019, a total of 980 counterfeit euro banknotes were detected among banknotes in circulation in Finland. The number of counterfeits was slightly higher than in 2018 but is still low compared with other euro area countries.

Even though the number of counterfeits was slightly up on the previous year in Finland, it is still highly unlikely that one would personally get a counterfeit note’, says Olli Vehmas, Banknote Specialist at the Bank of Finland.

Of the different banknotes in circulation in 2019, the EUR 50 was the most frequently discovered counterfeit note (516 counterfeits) in Finland, followed by the EUR 20 (263 counterfeits). 80 of all counterfeits were EUR 10 notes.

There were some imitation banknotes that resemble euro notes, such as souvenir banknotes and movie money, in circulation at the end of the year. Some people have succeeded in using them as a means of payment,’ states Vehmas. ‘It is advisable to always check the security features when handling banknotes,’ he emphasises.

Year 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Number of counterfeits 1,085 2,171 766 833 980

The new series of euro banknotes helps to curb counterfeiting. The EUR 100 and EUR 200 notes were the last in the new series to be released into circulation, in May 2019. The other denominations were updated earlier. The banknote security features involve the latest technology, which makes counterfeiting 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 simple tests: feel the raised print, look at the banknote against the light and tilt it. In case of 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 ( > Money and payments).

In a press release issued today (, the European Central Bank provides an overview of the situation regarding counterfeit euro banknotes.

For further information on the situation in Finland, 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 48 6837.