In Finland, relatively few counterfeits are recovered annually, compared with the other euro area countries. Counterfeits are recovered rapidly in Finland, and are removed from circulation, thanks to authentication devices and the vigilance of the general public.

Production or the passing on of counterfeit money is a punishable act under the Criminal Code of Finland.

Receiving counterfeit euro banknotes from an ATM is in principle impossible, as private ATM companies are under an obligation to check the authenticity and condition of banknotes being returned to circulation via their ATMs, using the Eurosystem's successfully tested banknote handling devices that remove counterfeit and unfit banknotes from circulation.

Counterfeit detection

It is easy to identify euro banknotes as genuine without authentication devices, by using the simple method: feel the banknote, tilt it and look at it against the light. Always check several security features. More information on euro banknotes and their security features is available under Euro banknotes.

If you handle large quantities of money every day, you could come across a suspect banknote. Ideally, your employer should have drawn up a plan for such an eventuality. Here are some tips if you are uncertain about a note.

  • If you are not sure whether the note is genuine, don’t accept it.
  • Politely ask the customer for another note.
  • Immediately inform the local police and/or your security officer.
  • Try to note as much information as possible about the customer.
  • Don't take risks with your own safety – counterfeit notes are worthless!

If you think you have accepted a counterfeit by mistake, please act as follows:

  • Don’t pass it on to someone else, as this is a criminal offence.
  • Give the suspect note to the local police or your local bank.
  • Try to remember where, when and from whom you got the banknote. This information can be invaluable in helping to track down counterfeiters.


Fake banknotes and 'toy money'

When travelling abroad, in kiosks and shops selling souvenirs, you may come across souvenirs that resemble euro banknotes or are toy money. If you are considering purchasing such an item, you should check whether the item complies with the following criteria for reproductions of euro banknotes For example, two-sided reproductions of a euro banknote, provided that the size of the reproduction is equal to or greater than 200 % of both the length and width or equal to or less than 50 % of both the length and width of the respective euro banknote, are deemed lawful reproductions. Souvenir banknotes that resemble closely genuine banknotes are considered as counterfeits.


Analysis centres for counterfeit currency

Two analysis centres for counterfeit currency have been established within the European Union. The Counterfeiting Analysis Centre for banknote counterfeits is located at the European Central Bank in Germany, while the European Technical and Scientific Centre for coin counterfeits is located in France. All EU Member States also maintain their own national analysis centres. In Finland, this centre operates in connection with the National Bureau of Investigation.