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Counterfeit currency and security documents

The crime of counterfeiting currency is as old as the creation of money itself. Recent developments in photographic, computer and printing technologies, along with the availability of low-cost equipment, have made the production of counterfeit money relatively easy.

Criminals often use stolen or fake identity documents in order to carry out financial crimes. We are leading an international, cross-sector partnership to improve the level of security of official documents.

Counterfeit currency

The increasing quality of the counterfeit currency produced poses a serious threat to national economies, financial institutions and consumers worldwide. A strong network of partnerships between the law enforcement community and the private industry is integral to seeking solutions to this problem.

Cooperation, communication and contacts

At INTERPOL, we provide forensic support, operational assistance, and technical databases in order to assist our member countries in addressing counterfeit currency on a global scale.

Increasingly important are partnerships between law enforcement agencies, financial institutions and central banks, as well as with the security printing industry and high-grade suppliers. These partnerships bridge geographic, jurisdictional, cultural and organizational divisions, which were once impediments toward providing comprehensive and coordinated solutions for combating modern financial crimes.

We recognize and foster cooperation with other official law enforcement entities, such as the United States Secret Service and Europol; as well as with international organizations and central banks, such as the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), European Central Bank (ECB), the US Federal Reserve Bank (FRB), and the Central Bank Counterfeit Deterrence Group (CBCDG); and with innovative leaders in private industry.

In an effort to address new trends in the area counterfeit currency, we routinely participate in public events and private training seminars, with our partners from law enforcement, the central banking community, and the security printing industry.

INTERPOL assistance

Our member countries can call upon the General Secretariat for the following services:

  • Classifying, analysing and storing genuine currency specimens and counterfeit banknotes;
  • Circulating analytical reports among INTERPOL member countries;
  • Determining whether suspect specimens are genuine or counterfeit;
  • Allocating international indicatives to newly discovered counterfeits, (except for USD and EUR);
  • Publishing descriptions of new counterfeit banknotes;
  • Preparing and circulating tables of statistics on worldwide counterfeit currency trends;
  • Organizing and/or participating in international counterfeit currency training courses, seminars and conferences, in order to stay abreast of latest technologies and to share best practices.

Web-based tools

Public:

  • Currency List – a listing of currencies for all INTERPOL member countries with direct links to the respective national central banks.

Restricted:

The following web-based tools are available to authorized users via INTERPOL' secure communication network, I-24/7:

  • Currency Bulletins – a monthly publication which provides current trends and specific details about genuine currencies;.
  • Early Warning Messages – a monthly publication posted in conjunction with Europol and the European Central Bank to provide relevant trends involving counterfeit Euros;
  • Counterfeit Alerts – a posting of newly discovered counterfeit currencies –(except USD and EUR) along with a detailed forensic analysis to warn a specific region about the potential impact;
  • Counterfeit Currency List  – to disseminate information on known counterfeited currencies of the INTERPOL community (with the exception of USD and EUR), which have worldwide circulation and have exhibited a global impact.
  • Counterfeit Currency Statistics - Yearly statistics for all counterfeit currencies discovered in INTERPOL’s member countries

Links

About the Euro:

About the US Dollar:

Rules for reproducing banknote images: