In Romania, a bank fooled by hundreds of counterfeit banknotes

In Romania, a bank accepted hundreds of counterfeit banknotes. The ATM didn’t detect they were fake.

Illustration | © Peggy Lachmann-Anke

Romanian authorities, on May 3, carried out four house searches in Bucharest in a case related to offenses of putting counterfeit money into circulation, fraud, and setting up an organized criminal group.

Investigations revealed that a bank had been defrauded of approximately 240,000 euros (265,000 dollars) by loading 486 counterfeit 500-euro notes into ATMs over three days in November. Only six banknotes were detected by the machines as being counterfeit. It accepted all the other ones.

On top of withdrawing cash, many multifunctional ATMs in Romania now accept automatic cash deposits in lei, euros or dollars to be credited to bank accounts. And although Romania’s currency is not the euro, many ATMs in the country also allow for withdrawing cash in euros.

The banknotes are part of a very dangerous type of counterfeit, known throughout Europe both for the high quality of the counterfeits and for the fact that they are impossible to detect with the naked eye,” according to Romanian police‘s press statement.

Two people will be taken for hearings to the headquarters of the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) as part of the probe.

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