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Holograms, watermarks and security strips are some ways to see if euro bills are real or counterfeit.

Holograms, watermarks and security strips are some ways to see if euro bills are real or counterfeit. (Michael Abrams/Stars and Stripes)

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Counterfeit euro bills have been circulating in the area of Kaiserslautern, Landstuhl and Pirmasens in recent days, and police are advising people to check their money carefully.

Someone has been circulating counterfeit 20, 50 and 100 euro bills, police said.

Identifying a counterfeit bill is difficult, but there are a number of security markers embedded in valid bills that counterfeiters cannot copy, police said.

Consumers should take the time to look for them because circulating false notes is a crime.

How to identify those markers: feel, look, tilt.

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 them. 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 and the architectural element depicted on the front of the bill is visible when the bill is held to the light. In certain places on the bill, there is micro-lettering visible only under a magnifying glass. Even the smallest lettering should be sharp and clear, not blurry. The five, 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 that toggles between the value and the euro symbol. On denominations of 50 and above, the hologram toggles between the value and a copy of the architectural element on the bill’s face. If you do identify a counterfeit bill, alert the police. Unfortunately, you won’t get a real bill in exchange.

The European Central Bank has developed an interactive graphic detailing all the security features on the euro bills.

news@stripes.com

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