Beware of counterfeit currency:

  • Buy foreign currency in Switzerland or abroad only at a bank or official money exchange bureau. Keep the receipt as proof of purchase.
  • Do not exchange money on the black market or with anyone you do not know.
  • Memorise the appearance and features of the banknotes you obtain from banks or money exchange bureaus. This will help you identify forgeries sooner.
  • Take your time to check your change.If you have any doubt about the authenticity of banknotes, have them examined by a bank or official money exchange bureau

How to recognise counterfeit currency

To recognise a forgery you need to know what the genuine banknote looks like. Please consult the following websites for information on:

Swiss francs Swiss National Bank
Euro banknotes The European Central Bank
US dollars the Bureau of Engraving and Printing
other currencies the Bank for International Settlements

Genuine banknotes are manufactured in such a way that you generally do not need any equipment to detect forgeries. In fact, most forgeries can be recognised by the naked eye.

To determine whether a banknote is a forgery, it is useful to have a genuine banknote for comparison. To check the security features of a banknote, a magnifying glass is helpful. For more information on these features, visit the website of the Swiss National Bank. Check at least three security features. If you are still in doubt, consult a bank or police station.

As a rule, it is best to leave the exchanging of currency to banks and money exchanging institutions.

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