Banknotes worth over €3 billion enter circulation today – with ‘fraud’ warning

New €100 and €200 banknotes are entering circulation today, with authorities stressing that anyone holding old notes should not be concerned. The new, slightly smaller notes – printed with increased ‘elements of security’ within them – do not render older notes valueless, and thus there is no requirement for people to exchange them or cash them in.

In the past, elderly people have been swindled by fraudsters visiting isolated villages, pretending to be Bank of Portugal employees charged with ‘exchanging old notes’.

Said a source for the PSP: “People should be aware that no-one can go to the home of a third party to exchange banknotes: no police agent, nor Bank of Portugal employee. If this happens, it is a case of fraud and we would appeal to householders to make an official complaint at their nearest police station”.

The notes – worth over €3 billion – have been produced in Italy, France, Austria, Latvia, Lithuania and Spain.

They are the same colours as before and can be checked for authenticity by “touch, observation and inclination”.

Explain reports, the notes have a ‘satellite hologram on the upper silver band that shows small symbols of the euro that move around the numbers representing the note’s value, and which become sharper when exposed to direct light, including an enhanced emerald number”.

The silver band also includes a ‘portrait of Europe’ (a mythological Greek figure), the architectural motif and a large euro symbol.

Said a source for the Bank of Portugal, it’s impossible to say how many of the new notes will circulate within any eurozone country.

But data for April this year showed that “globally, within the eurozone, there was €2.848 billion in €100 notes in circulation and €269 million in notes of €200.

Both denominations are less regularly used than the €50 note which represents over 46% of the notes in circulation.

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