Ever since the sticker has become a part of the every day releases of each of the card companies, there has always been concern over any issues that could arise from the autograph not being signed on card. Over the last few years, its become painfully evident that further attention to the tamper proof nature of the label itself needs to be addressed by the manufacturers. More over, that each company has a weakness with the sticker being removed from the card, the auto wiped clean with acetone, a new fake being signed in its place, and then reapplied to a card that was never meant to be an autograph.
My frame of reference on this has been mostly focused around Adrian Peterson, if not only because I know his checklist presence and autograph like the back of my hand. The fake autographs started with the 2007 rookie premiere cards that have been a thorn in my side for years, and has progressed to the point where the fake autos are indistinguishable, even to the grading companies. Luckily for me, I have followed this one forger for a long time and know his calling card due to the slant and structure of his fake autos.
Here are some cards that have the fake Peterson sticker, even though the sellers are most likely just victims of the original seller:
I am convinced that some day, at a card show in the future, I will come across a table with hundreds of these fake signatures and be able to identify a culprit that has been flooding the market for years. Common targets have been guys like Manning, Brady, Rodgers, and other high value guys that can easily bring 100+ dollars per signature, and are common enough that fakes can be passed easily.
An easy fix is to review the other cards the seller has for sale, confirm any odd looking parallel signatures with the company checklist or another checklist available online, and ALWAYS consider serial numbers, as autos are usually low numbered affairs for the top guys due to cost per card. The fakes are usually base cards, converted to be autos with the fake sticker, and usually signed in a thicker ink than most. Cards like this Michael Vick 50th anniversary Topps auto scare me to death. Its best to stay far away and protect yourself, rather than falling for unknown fakes.