1500 Bucks Wont Scare Away A Scammer

There are times where you just wonder where people get some ideas. Its become obvious in the last few years that price tag is not a factor when considering fakes, and these examples are the quintessential example of that. On BO’s forum, a collector brought these to my attention, showing proof of the patch alterations made to the card.

First, we have this one, number 3 of 25, a 1500 dollar card, if not more. The seller took it down and relisted it with proof of its fake status, claiming that it was sold for a customer, but I have heard that before. Just goes to show what some people will do to make a few extra dollars. Fakers really dont understand that fans track the rare cards like this, so when there are only 25 of these high profile cards, its very likely that there is going to be someone with scans of every one of them put on the net.
Second, we have number 19 of 25, which carries a similar ridiculous price tag PRIOR to alteration. Again, this was pulled because the seller decided to make good on his fakes, but again its still reeks of scam.
Even though these cards were not sold with their fake patches in this form , they will still most likely show up in another form. The purpose of this is to show that no card is safe from fakes, and that you need to look at every possible angle before buying a card in any form. The hobby is an unsafe place when it comes to some cards, and unfortunately that means that price tag is not a deterrant.

Triple Threads Scam In Progress

Despite my feelings on the awful abomination that is Triple Threads baseball, there is a new scam that has been making its way around eBay. Basically, a scammer pulls one of about ten thousand shitty cards from the product, and they get very angry with their wasted money/life. Then, they take out their rubbing alcohol, wipe off the autograph of the crappy player, and re-write an auto of a good player. They call it an “error,” leading uniformed people to buy it thinking its real, and that Topps made the mistake of putting the wrong sticker on the card.

In this example brought to my attention by Jeff from New Card Smell (a great blog – go check it out), this person has altered a Blake DeWitt to look like an error of Albert Pujols’ sticker on the card. As you can see, the auto is a bag of fail, and the guy’s other auctions are filled with other obvious fakes.

This has been going on for a very long time, but usually people are smart enough to avoid any purchases. Regardless of how obvious it looks, it still bears repeating to those of you who see them.

Remember, in all cases, check a sellers’ previous auctions before bidding on a card you find suspect in any way. Usually these arent isolated incidents, and the sellers have a history of horrible fakes. Also, if a card has a red flag, just walk away. You cant get hurt if you don’t buy.

Pack Searchers Are One Thing…

Ever since the advent of jersey cards in products, people have been there to beat the system when opening packs to make money. These morally deceptive people have camped out at retailers across the country with their system, all with the goal of finding jersey and auto cards without ever opening the pack. These “pack searchers” have become some of the most hated people in the hobby, and have made buying loose retail packs for hits an unwinnable venture.

After obtaining these searched packs, they often sell them on eBay as “hot packs,” or packs of product for sale with guaranteed hits inside. Collectors often buy the packs expecting a chance at a nice card, but usually end up with nothing more than a plain jersey card. It’s unethical, damaging, and underhanded, despite the fact that manufacturers have used decoy cards to try and fend them off. As the companies have started to clearly label their retail packs, coupled with the decreasing value of plain jersey cards, pack searchers have diminished in numbers. It doesn’t stop people from trying their hand at it, but really, it’s not as much of a problem as it used to be.

There is one thing I saw recently that made me cringe, and that is the number of sellers out there who flat out cheat buyers who don’t know the logistics of the practice. Recently, an auction was posted, featuring the claim that the hot pack for sale contained a 1 of 1 superfractor out of 2009 Topps Chrome Football. Superfractors are extremely valuable for top tier rookies and players, and are some of the most sought after cards in the hobby. Every red flag I had in place started to go off in my head, rightfully so.

For those of you who have opened the packs of this product, its no surprise that this is a completely impossible claim to make. A superfractor is physically impossible to search out in an unopened pack, as the card features no discernable difference from the regular cards. They are not thicker, they don’t weigh more, and they are not a guaranteed hit in any box. Therefore, any claim that any unopened pack contains one, is 100% false.

Of course, because not everyone is familiar with these facts, there are bidders on the pack, which should end upwards of 100 dollars. I feel horrible for the winning bidder, because whoever buys the pack will end up with a superfractor that isn’t worth anything, out of a pack that has been opened and resealed. The seller has opened the pack, saw that the superfractor was probably a cheerleader card or lower tier player, glued the pack shut, and is selling it under the suspicion that the sale will get him more money.


The easiest way to punish any scam artist is to not buy into the scam, especially when there are very few avenues to take corrective action on this person. The seller’s pack will deliver what it says, but only because the person has advanced knowledge of what is going to come out of the pack. It’s completely unethical and unfair to the buyer, and I recommend never trusting anything you can’t verify with 100% certainty.

Personally, I would avoid hot packs all together, even if the sale seems legit. It encourages cheating, and provides funds for people who do not deserve them. You will NEVER make back your money, and the risk will never be worth the reward.

New Watchdog Post: Check Out Tuff Stuff.com

First off, I want to thank Tuff Stuff for actually taking initiative on items like this and letting me post about it. They were really the only ones willing to look at the bad people in this hobby with the idea of education, and I applaud that. Even though it can be scary for new collectors to learn of fakes and scams, its all about knowing, and knowing is half the battle. Right?

The second hobby watchdog article is up on the front page of the site and focuses on the asshole who sold the fake Exquisite Peterson Viking head logo for over $2000. Make sure to check it out, and also keep checking back here for all things scam related.

Tuff Stuff’s Hobby Watchdog Warns of Fake Exquisite Patches

Can We Ever Trust Buybacks Again?

Over the last few months, I have spent a lot of time discussing fake autos, fake patches, and all sorts of scams across this hobby. Lately the amount of certain types of fakes has nearly quadrupled, leading me to question every single part of every auto that makes it on eBay. Its tiring really.

One of the scams that has blown up recently has been the production of fake buybacks, mostly bad ones. Sellers take cards that are pretty much worthless unsigned, and sign them illegitamately themselves under the auspices that the card was re-purchased by the manufacturer and signed officially. The term for these cards is “buyback” because the company actually goes out and buys unsigned versions of old cards for signatures. They are pretty rare in most cases, unless you look at a product like Bowman Originals, a set comprised completely of buybacks.

The problem is, people have found ways to transfer stickers or cases that usually secure the cards as real. This has caused a boom in fakes, and even people who just dont care enough to do it the convincing way.

When it comes to any future buybacks, im pretty much going to say right now that this situation has prevented me from buying one ever again. Now that Rookie Premiere Autographs are ruined, as well as these, non-scam ridden card types are dropping like flies. Of course, because companies REFUSE to do anything to prevent it, and eBay makes tons of money off it, no one will ever force them to stop.

Hopefully, over the next few years, companies can find a way to make the cards tamperproof. However, when you see that people can fake slabs on PSA cards, its going to be really tough to figure out a way to stop the scammers. I say that educating the uneducated is the best answer, even though there are people out there who think that one shouldnt do anything until they are scammed themselves. As stupid as that sounds, these douchebags take advantage of every edge they can get. Give em an inch and they take a mile. Do you have any ideas?