A total of 451 counterfeit euro banknotes have been withdrawn from circulation in 2022 in Cyprus, representing an increase of 113.7% compared with the previous year.
According to data published by the European Central Bank in 2022 a total of 376,000 pieces of counterfeit euro banknotes of various denominations were withdrawn from circulation representing an increase of 8.4% compared with 2021.
The increase also reflects the recovery of economic activity in 2022 after most of the coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions had been lifted.
Banknotes of €50 and €20 continued to be the most counterfeited banknotes, jointly accounting for slightly below two thirds of the total. About 96.6% of counterfeits were found in euro area countries, while 2.7% were found in non-euro area European Union member states and 0.7% in other parts of the world.
In contrast, according to the Central Bank of Cyprus, the €10 note had the highest rate of counterfeiting in Cyprus, accounting for 40.8% of the total.
The CBC said that although the amount of counterfeit euro banknotes in 2022 was “significantly higher” than the previous year, it notes that “in comparison with the number of genuine euro banknotes in circulation, the quantity of counterfeits remains very low.”
The CBC advises the public to be careful and to scrutinise banknotes in cash transactions, recalling that both the CBC and the European Central Bank websites provide information on simple ways to check the genuineness of euro banknotes.