Check your money now, you risk prison too

Check your money now, you risk prison too
Check your money now, you risk prison too

There are some denominations of banknotes that are at risk of being counterfeited. The European Central Bank (ECB) is launching the alert.

Counterfeit banknotes are something that worries traders a lot and not only. There are, however, gods cuts that are most at risk of being counterfeited than others, and it is therefore essential to be able to recognize and pay more attention to this problem. The denominations of banknotes that are most likely to be counterfeited are those from 20 And 50 EUR.

Indeed, it is the banknote denominations that are most in circulation. The warning of counterfeit banknotes was launched by the European Central Bank (ECB), which in 2022 seized 376,000 counterfeit banknotes. A truly enormous number, which becomes even more worrying if you think of its value in euros, or 17 million. The estimate of the ratio between original and counterfeit banknotes is equivalent to 13 counterfeit banknotes for every million real banknotes.

Counterfeit banknotes: what the rules say

What are the chances of seeing counterfeit banknotes end up in your wallet? Well, they are not very high, but not so low either. Before making a cash payment you should check every banknote before the authorities do it. This because paying with counterfeit banknotes is a real criminal offense that can also be prosecuted with prison. In the event that payments are made with counterfeit money, the danger is of incurring up to six months in prison.

Article 457 of the Penal Code states that «anyone who spends, or otherwise puts into circulation counterfeit or altered coins, received by him in good faith, is punished with imprisonment of up to six months or a fine of up to 1,032 euros». It is not very easy to tell if a banknote is counterfeit, especially due to new counterfeiting methods. If you don’t own one specific machinery to recognize them, one would have to use other methods.

The most commonly used method is to hold the banknote against the light to check the watermark, the portrait of Europa (princess and queen in Greek mythology), the figure that represents the value and finally the image. Another visual check is to ascertain whether Cyprus and Malta are represented on the banknotes and whether there are signatures of either Mario Draghi or Christine Lagarde.

Furthermore, the acronym European Central Bank must be reported in 9 linguistic variants which are depicted on the side of the banknote. Last thing, you need to check the EURO writing, which must be written in Cyrillic (EBPO) and Greek characters. Finally, if you touch it, if you notice that the banknote is smooth, it could be false. It must not be smooth to the touch but must have clear reliefs.

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