Reykjavík Area Police have issued a warning, in all caps, that there are “COUNTERFEIT EURO BILLS BEING CIRCULATED”. A closer look reveals these are not in fact deliberately counterfeit bills, but rather someone taking advantage of the local lack of knowledge of Russian to pass off play €100 and €200 notes as real ones.
As can be seen, this particular example is labelled “СУВЕНИР”, which both means and is pronounced “souvenir”, as well as “НЕ ЯBЛЯETCЯ ППATEЖHЬIM CPEДCTBOM”, which roughly translates as “not legal tender”.
Police say in their status that these counterfeit bills can be bought in bulk in Russia. Regardless, passing off play money as real money with the intent to deceive and get real money in return is nonetheless a crime, and police say that these bills have been used to buy cigarettes, pay for cab rides and other goods and services, for which the clever fraudsters received real Icelandic króna in change.
If someone hands you these bills, you would do well to refuse to recognise them as legal tender.
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