In the second half of 2018, over a quarter of a million counterfeit euro banknotes
were withdrawn from circulation, according to European Central Bank data
. As high as that is, it actually represents a noticeable decline on previous 6-month periods. Back in the second half of 2015 for example, 445,000 counterfeit notes were withdrawn, a number that has been falling ever since.
Broken down by denomination, €20 and €50 banknotes
accounted for over 80 percent of those withdrawn. The ECB reported that the likelihood of actually receiving a counterfeit is small as the number remains very low compared to the number of genuine banknotes in circulation. Currently, there are 22 billion genuine notes in circulation with a value of approximately €1.2 trillion.