Advice on avoiding buying fake cards or falling for scams
It has often happened to us, during twenty years of experience in this field, that we had to deal with scammed and unaware collectors who, in turn, tried selling their fake cards without even knowing that they were trying to sell a fake. This is because in some cases it is really difficult to identify the fakes, if you do not make the card undergo a strict verification procedure by an expert who also knows about the smaller details that distinguish a fake from an original piece.
So it is obvious that, both in the case of personal negotiations and in that of digital negotiations, buying a card that was graded (certified by GRAAD and sealed in one of our cases) is a great advantage and it is certainly the first way to avoid falling for buying fake cards.
We also want to give some general indication to avoid fakes.
Be particularly careful with cards that normally have a high market value and that are offered to you as 'real deals'. Here often a fake is likely and our advice is to request the seller to certify the cards and if necessary pay that small additional price, if they turn out to be genuine.
Another place where many fake cards are present are digital platforms. You tend to believe that a seller with a good reputation on a portal is a guarantee, but it's not like that. There are counterfeiters that open new accounts, through other accounts a false reputation is created, then put tens of fake cards on the market and then disappear deleting the account before or shortly after a deluge of negative reviews. The best way to avoid fakes, even in this case, is to buy cards certified by GRAAD or, if really not possible, start buying one or two low value cards, then one of medium and one of high and have the purchased cards certified by GRAAD. If in all passages the cards turn out to be authentic, you can probably trust that the seller is honest.
But be careful, there are also real scammers who organize scams. The card market is in fact particularly interesting for those who scam because it is not easy to identify and unmask a scam. For example they lure buyers by selling good cards at low and affordable prices, they earn their trust, then propose a 'real deal' and place a remarkable order of fake cards.
This is just an example of a scam, because scammers are real masters in the invention of new ways all the time, not to be discovered quickly. Against scams there is no alternative: only a certified card by GRAAD is 100% safe.
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