Fake Sticker Autos Continue to Be A Rampant Problem

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:

Fake 2008 Gridiron Gear Adrian Peterson Patch Auto

Fake 2011 Topps Supreme Adrian Peterson Printing Plate Auto

Fake 2007 Adrian Peterson Printing Plate Auto

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.

2 thoughts on “Fake Sticker Autos Continue to Be A Rampant Problem

  1. It makes you wonder how much it would take for the card companies to add a single tag line on the card saying “Autograph”, “Inscription” or some other marking it as a base autograph or limited short print/variation autograph. It would help alleviate some of the problems in the future. Some releases already have “Prime Patch” on the cards to help differentiate from fakes, why not something to help cut out the fake autos too?

    Either that or just go back to all on-card autographs, though that is not going to happen any time soon.

  2. Where did all the unsinged Topps Rookie Premiere cards come from that have the fake autos on them?

    It is the companies’ fault. Make the auto cards visually different rather than parallels. Emboss or print the word “autograph” somewhere on the card… Create standards and stick to them.

    Part of it is there is also no resource to go to find out what cards look like and the print runs tied to them. All 3 companies web sites stink and Beckett is no better. Beckett continually reprints incorrect or wrong info in their “guides” even after they have been notified…

    Some of it relates to your earlier post about crazy patches now coming as base cards. Finest base rookies numbered to 1200 shouldnt have logo patches in them.. and a Luck or RGIII based #’d out of 200 doesnt need multi color..
    Even though the patches are essentially manu fake from the start(batch processed from the rookie premiere), the expectation of value should be based on the SRP of the product.

    Fake sticker concerns are a big issue on a set Im working on: Topps Ring of Honor autos especially Eli and Payton. Part of the issue is that Topps does not carry the continuity year to year. They dont use the same foil stamping color on the logos or the same numbering convention on the back of the cards which makes it difficult to figure out what is real..

    Here is a real card with the sticker(fake auto?) added:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/TONY-ROMO-2008-TOPPS-AUTO-AUTOGRAPH-JERSEY-PATCH-ED-COWBOYS-/290785365436?pt=US_Football&hash=item43b4288dbc

    The good thing is this has been on the bay for a long time. Mostly because Romo stinks but I hope people realize this is a fake card.

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