Counterfeit cash and how to spot it

One of the main sticking points in any transaction is how to get paid. This is especially true when you’re meeting a stranger to buy or sell your car. Most cars are worth at least a few hundred quid and dealing with that amount of cash can be a worry – but don’t worry, TrustHub is here to help.

Cash has its advantages – it’s quick, you know when you have it in your hand that you’ve gotten paid and it feels more satisfying than lodging a bank draft. Fair enough – but it might not all be plain sailing. There’s always a chance that the person you’re dealing with will pass you fake notes.

So how can you spot a counterfeit note?

Strangely, the best way is not to use your eyes! Every wondered why the shop assistant insists on subtly rubbing their thumb over your note? All Euro notes have raised print on them (called intaglio printing) that you can feel with your finger and is very hard to fake. On the old versions this is contained in a small rectangle just to the right of the large 10/20/50 in the top right corner (See the picture below). Run your thumbnail over these ridge and check to see they don’t come off. Some criminals have tried putting creases in the paper to simulate the edge but it should feel very defined.


In the new versions of the €5, €10, €20 notes, this raised print runs along both ends of the note. But wait, they’ve got holograms right? Well, the holograms are often faked in counterfeit notes with varying effectiveness. Luckily in the new €20 note there’s a nifty new security feature in the hologram. If you hold the note up to the light there is now a window on the right hand side where you can see the face of a woman (Europa herself).


So, is that everything? No, there’s a few other tips we have:

Avoid large denominations as these are often used by criminals. In fact they’re considering removing €500 notes from circulation because they are almost exclusively used by criminals.

Check notes individually and don’t feel embarrassed to do this. The first few notes on the top or bottom (or both) may be genuine but conceal many more counterfeit ones underneath. This will give the appearance of a genuine sheaf of notes that will later turn out to be largely worthless.


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