In the first half of 2019, the Bank of Latvia received and inspected 640 euros of counterfeit currency (477 banknotes and 163 coins). Compared to the first half of 2018, when 708 counterfeit banknotes and 163 coins were identified, the number of counterfeits has decreased by 22%, and the financial loss incurred has decreased by 20% (from 40.5 thousand euros of losses in the first half of 2018 to 32.3 thousand euros of losses in the first half of 2019).
According to the eurozone counterfeit currency data, Latvia, along with Estonia, Finland, Cyprus, Slovakia, and Lithuania, is among the countries with the lowest number of counterfeits per capita. In addition, the number of counterfeits continues to decline – in 2018, the total number of counterfeits discovered in Latvia had fallen by 24%, and the number of financial losses incurred by 14%.
Among the most common counterfeits is the 50 euro banknote, which makes up 74% of all counterfeit banknotes and 55% of all counterfeits).
According to the latest Eurosystem survey, 251 000 counterfeit banknotes were identified in the eurozone as a whole in the first half of 2019 (compared with 301 000in the first half of 2018). The most common counterfeits in the eurozone are also the 50 decimal banknotes, making up 54% of all counterfeits.
The chances of getting a counterfeit are very low. The number of counterfeits remains still very low compared to genuine notes in circulation. There are currently more than 22.5 billion euro notes in circulation, whose overall worth is 1.2 trillion euros.
While euro coins and banknotes are well protected against counterfeiting, citizens and businesses are urged to acquaint themselves with the design and security features of banknotes – the quality of counterfeits (especially coins) is generally very low, and they can be easily recognised by sight and touch. In case of suspicion, banknotes and coins can be submitted for authentication to the Bank of Latvia cash offices on K.Valdemāra iela 1B in Rīga and on Teātra iela 3 in Liepāja, as well as the nearest police department.