In 2022, 451 counterfeit euro banknotes were removed from circulation in Cyprus, an increase of 113.7 percent over the previous year.
At the same time, according to European Central Bank data, approximately 376,000 pieces of counterfeit euro banknotes of various denominations were withdrawn in 2022, representing an 8.4% increase over 2021.
According to a CBC statement, this was partly due to the recovery of economic activity in 2022 following the lifting of most of the COVID-19 restrictive measures.
Banknotes with denominations of €50 and €20 continue to have the highest counterfeiting rates, accounting for slightly less than two-thirds of the total. according to ECB data, the €50 banknote accounted for 40% of all counterfeit banknotes, while the €20 euro banknote was second with 23.6%.
According to the CBC, the €10 banknote had the highest counterfeiting rate in Cyprus, accounting for 40.8% of the total.
"The number of counterfeit euro banknotes in circulation remains very small when compared to the number of genuine euro banknotes in circulation," the CBC noted.
Furthermore, 96.6% of counterfeit banknotes were discovered in eurozone member countries, 2.7% in non-eurozone EU member countries, and 0.7% in other parts of the world.
"Despite the small number of counterfeits, the Central Bank of Cyprus advises citizens to be cautious and thoroughly check the banknotes they receive during cash transactions," according to the CBC.
Finally, both the Central Bank of Cyprus and the European Central Bank's websites provide information on simple ways to verify the authenticity of euro banknotes.