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CNB > Media service > Press releases of the CNB > 2013 > Number of counterfeits decreases

Number of counterfeits decreases

26 Feb 2013

As in previous years, most of the counterfeit Czech banknotes and coins seized in the Czech Republic last year were crude copies that people should recognise if they handle money in the correct way. A total of 3,586 counterfeit and altered Czech banknotes and coins were seized, 955 fewer than in 2011. The CNB provides the public with advice on checking the protective elements of Czech banknotes in numerous information materials, for example the Czech Money app.

The majority of counterfeits last year were again created using unsophisticated techniques. Counterfeiters most often used inkjet printers and photocopiers. Such counterfeits are usually not very good. They either have no protective elements or only crude imitations of them,” said CNB Bank Board member Lubomír Lízal, who oversees the activities of the Cash and Payment Systems Department. “As long as people pay enough attention to banknotes and their protective elements, they should recognise false money,” he added.

Last year, the Czech National Bank identified 3,586 Czech banknotes and coins – worth a total of CZK 3.75 million – as counterfeit or altered money. The CZK 1,000 and CZK 500 banknotes have long been the most counterfeited denominations. They accounted for seven out of ten counterfeits seized last year. For comparison, a total of 4,541 counterfeit and altered Czech banknotes and coins, worth CZK 2.94 million, were seized in the Czech Republic in 2011.

The quality of the counterfeits was unchanged from previous years. Most of the banknotes originated in inkjet printers or colour photocopiers (99.8%). Using a five-point security scale corresponding to the marking system used in Czech schools, 82% of the Czech counterfeits were given a grade 4 or 5. Such counterfeits are rated as poor or unskilled and usually contain no protective elements or only crude imitations of them.

Including foreign currency, a total of 4,541 counterfeit and altered banknotes and coins, worth CZK 6.4 million, were seized in the Czech Republic last year. Of that total, 3,596 were seized in circulation and 918 by the police before counterfeiters paid with them.

People should take care to check each banknote they receive. They can check for the presence of the basic protective elements in three simple steps: by rubbing the note between their fingers, by holding it up to the light and by tipping it against the light. The CNB provides the public with advice on checking the protective elements of Czech banknotes in numerous information materials, such as the Czech Money mobile app (available on Android and iOS), animated presentations of banknotes and coins on the CNB website, lenticular cards and leaflets.

2012 – Counterfeit and altered banknotes and coins seized in circulation and by the Czech police in the Czech Republic

  Seized
  in circulation by the police total
Counterfeit banknotes CZK 2,612 845 3,457
Counterfeit banknotes EUR 572 73 645
Counterfeit banknotes USD 131 0 131
Counterfeit banknotes other 68 0 68
Counterfeit coins CZK 113 0 113
Counterfeit coins other 82 0 82
Altered banknotes and coins CZK 16 0 16
Altered banknotes and coins other 2 0 2
Total 3,596 918 4,514

2011 – Counterfeit and altered banknotes and coins seized in circulation and by the Czech police in the Czech Republic

  Seized
  in circulation by the police total
Counterfeit banknotes CZK 4,135 364 4,499
Counterfeit banknotes EUR 574 90 664
Counterfeit banknotes USD 310 376 686
Counterfeit banknotes other 34 0 34
Counterfeit coins CZK 21 0 21
Counterfeit coins other 70 0 70
Altered banknotes and coins CZK 21 0 21
Altered banknotes and coins other 5 2 7
Total 5,17 832 6,002

Marek Petruš, CNB spokesman