How to recognize counterfeit euro bills

Provided by USAG Stuttgart Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security

Counterfeit euro bills have been circulating in the area of Kaiserslautern, Landstuhl and Pirmasens. The local law enforcement agencies advise the community to carefully check their money.

The most common counterfeit bills currently in circulation are €20, €50, and €100 euro bills.

Various security features have been incorporated into all euro banknotes to protect them against counterfeiting but you can check the euro banknotes by using the simple FEEL, LOOK and TILT method.

  • The numbers of the value of the bill, as well as the depiction of architectural element on the bill are slightly raised, and can be felt by running a finger over.
  • A security strip — a dark line near the center of the bill — is visible when the bill is held to the light. The word EURO or the euro symbol and the number representing the value of the bill are embedded in the strip.
  • A watermark of the denomination of the bill is visible when the bill is held to the light.
  • The micro-lettering on the bill is only visible under a magnifying glass. Lettering should be sharp and clear, not blurry.
  • The 5, 10 and 20 euro banknotes have a foil strip on the right hand side. Tilt the bill to reveal a hologram in the silver strip between the value and the euro symbol.
  • On higher denominations, the hologram is between the value and a copy of the architectural element on the bill’s face.

The European Central Bank website provides a great number of resources that can help you identify phony bills. Other resources include:

Security Features on all Bank Notes:€20

Euro Cash Academy:

Circulating false banknotes (euro bills) is a crime. If you do identify a counterfeit bill, alert the police and USAREUR Banking Officer at DSN: 483-7515.