How do you look for bank notes

Banknotes with ink stains

Have you ever seen a banknote with ink stains?

If someone wants to give you a banknote that looks like the one shown here, don't accept it. The banknote was probably stolen.

Banknotes with ink stains

Glued banknotes

How do you recognize a stolen banknote with ink stains?

When a banknote is colored with security ink by an intelligent banknote neutralization system (IBNS), it is drawn into the banknote and leaves traces that are normally more visible at the corners of the banknote. The hues of the most commonly used security inks are light purple, green, blue, red, or black. Usually, the ink flows from the corners to the center of the banknotes, leaving a typical pattern. Sometimes the chemicals the thieves use to wash the security ink out of the banknotes change their color. It can also happen that the original color of the banknotes is changed and some of the security features are damaged or disappear entirely.

So have all the banknotes with ink stains been stolen?

No. If there are only very light or isolated small spots on the bank note, but the corners have not been touched, it can be assumed that the spots have accidentally got onto the bank note, for example through a leaked pen.

Banknotes with ink stains that do not come from an IBNS

What should I do if someone tries to hand me a note with ink stains that are clearly from an anti-theft device?

  • Do not accept the banknote. Ask for a different banknote. You cannot be sure that the person who is trying to give you the banknote is its rightful owner.
  • Refuse to accept bleached or discolored banknotes. Criminals have most likely tried to remove the security ink from an IBNS by washing or bleaching the banknotes.
  • If you have accepted a banknote with ink stains, you should hand it over to your bank or national central bank. You should also let them know how you got this banknote. The national central bank then checks whether the ink stains are from an IBNS and calls in the police if necessary. The police can then use the banknotes as evidence for the transfer of the offenders.
  • If the tests show that the paint stains came from an IBNS, you may not be entitled to any compensation. National central banks can only exchange euro banknotes with ink stains from anti-theft devices at the request of the actual owner of the banknote, who was the victim of the crime that led to the coloring of the banknotes.
  • If the tests show that the ink stains did not come from an IBNS and only accidentally got onto the banknote, you will receive a new banknote or money transfer to your account.

Do you have anymore questions? For more information, see Article 3 of the decision of the European Central Bank of April 19, 2013 on the exchange of damaged euro banknotes.

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