What to do if you think a false bill has been sneaked into you

Very sophisticated printing technology is used to manufacture the euro banknotes. In addition, they incorporate a series of advanced security elements that allow them to be easily distinguished from false ones without resorting to special equipment and that have a deterrent effect.

In this sense, the special printing processes used by the European Central Bank (ECB @ecb) give the banknotes a firm and resistant texture, as well as an unmistakable touch, especially at the edges, where there is a whole strip of reliefs that we can notice when we run our fingers over the surface.


Also, if we look at the ticket against the light, A window with a watermark with a portrait and a security thread that runs vertically through it, more or less in the middle of the bill, becomes visible. Finally, if you turn the banknote, the silver band will show a portrait of Europa in a transparent window and the emerald green number that produces a metallic reflection that moves vertically.

Portrait watermark

So, if you receive a ticket and, after applying the method «Touch, Look, Turn» you doubt its authenticity, it is probably false and you should not accept it.

You will not receive any compensation for its delivery

If you have a ticket and you think it is false, you must immediately notify the Police or to the relevant national authorities. The ECB works closely with Europol (the European Police Office @Europol), which has been designated as the central office for the coordination of the protection of the euro, as well as with Interpol (the International Criminal Police Organization) and the European Commission.

The ECB warns that «paying with a bill if it is known or suspected to be false is against the law.» Therefore, «if you believe that you have mistakenly accepted a counterfeit bill, do not hand it over to anyone, as it constitutes a crime.» Remember also that counterfeit bills have no value and you will not receive any compensation if you accept them.

You can also check the validity of the tickets at any bank branch. All banks have specialized equipment to detect counterfeit bills. “Try to remember who gave you the ticket and where you received it. This information can be very valuable in helping to find the counterfeiters ”, they indicate from the ECB.

Emerald green number

The bill counterfeiters are using more and more apps and computer equipment for reproducing digital images. Consequently, the Group of Central Banks for the Deterrence of Counterfeiting – an international group that includes more than 30 central banks, created at the request of the governors of the central banks of the G-10 – has developed a system of deterrence of counterfeiting. counterfeits (Counterfeit Deterrence System, CDS) that prevents images of protected banknotes from being captured and reproduced. This system has been incorporated on a voluntary basis by the manufacturers of computer applications and equipment.