In the second half of 2019, a total of 545 counterfeit euro banknotes were reported to the Central Bank of Malta.
This brought the total number of counterfeits withdrawn from circulation for the whole of 2019 to 1,389 pieces.
When compared with the number of genuine euro banknotes in circulation in Malta (slightly above 12.80 million on average for the second half of 2019), the proportion of euro counterfeits remains insignificant.
It is also low (0.18%) as a proportion of the total number of counterfeits seized in the euro area as a whole over the same period, amounting to 308,000 pieces.
Of all the fake euro banknotes seized in Malta over the second half of the year, the middle denominations continue to be the most counterfeited. Together, the €20 and €50 accounted for almost three out of every four (74.5%) of all counterfeits seized in circulation. During this period, the share of the €50 notes decreased while that of the €20 denomination increased.
The table below provides a percentage breakdown, by denomination, of the total number of counterfeits withdrawn from circulation in the second half of 2019 compared to those withdrawn in the euro area as a whole.
Notwithstanding the low figures of counterfeits reported locally, the Central Bank of Malta continues to advise the public to remain alert with regard to the banknotes received in cash transactions as in the past months there was an increase in the number of low-quality counterfeits withdrawn from circulation. All are very easy to detect as they have very poor imitations of security features.
Genuine banknotes can be easily recognised using the simple “FEEL-LOOK-TILT” test, which is described on the Bank’s website. The Bank is available to provide any support, including training to any local entities which may require such assistance.
Anyone who receives a suspect note should contact either the Police on 2294 2120, the Central Bank of Malta on 2550 6012/13 or on the Bank’s email.