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How Often Are Fraudulent Sports Cards & Memorabilia Sold?

Scams involving the sale of fraudulent sports cards and memorabilia occur every day. When Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) seized 284 counterfeit sports memorabilia items at a Florida collectibles store in January 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) explained that the agency secures around $4.3 million in counterfeit merchandise every day across the United States. According to HSI acting deputy special agent in charge David Pezzutti, 

Counterfeiting creates wide-reaching dangers to society. Buying counterfeits – even though it may seem harmless to a consumer – hurts local and global economies, endangers people’s health and generates revenue for organized crime and even terrorism.”

Even renowned sports memorabilia collectors are fooled by expertly forged sports cards that are often sold on eBay. For instance, in December 2020, legendary collector Donald E. Spence sued a sports memorabilia dealer on eBay after purchasing a fake 1986 Fleer Michael Jordan basketball card for $19,999.99. After discovering the sports card was counterfeit, the memorabilia company now faces multiple civil charges, including fraudulent inducement, negligent misrepresentation, and breach of contract. 

While it’s difficult to approximate the percentage of sports memorabilia that is counterfeit, the FBI cites that industry experts acknowledge over half of the most in-demand athletes’ and celebrities’ autographed memorabilia is forged. According to industry experts in the FBI’s report, the autographed memorabilia market in the United States is estimated at approximately $1 billion per year—$100 million of that market is reportedly composed of forged memorabilia. 

How Do I Protect Myself from Purchasing Fraudulent Sports Memorabilia?

Sports memorabilia extends far beyond collecting baseball cards. The market for vintage sports memorabilia was once limited to a small supply of genuine items but is now flooded with tens of thousands of vintage objects, including helmets, bats, balls, jerseys, autographs, and more. Unfortunately, the sad reality is that many of them are fraudulent. 

If you’re in the market to purchase vintage sports cards or memorabilia, keep these tips in mind to protect yourself from sports memorabilia fraud

  • Research the seller: Like any business deal, do your research, read buyers’ reviews, and check out the person or company you are buying from before making any purchase.
  • Compare prices: Consider prices of related sports memorabilia to avoid purchasing counterfeits. If a valuable autograph is being sold at a drastic discount, the items are likely fraudulent. 
  • Don’t trust a signature: Be careful about trusting an item’s validity based on a picture of the athlete signing. These photographs are often stolen or manipulated. 

It’s essential to have some skepticism before trusting the validity of an item. If it seems too good to be true—it probably is. Protect yourself from fraudulent sports cards and memorabilia by researching the seller and item before purchasing so you can make an informed buying decision. 

How Can an Experienced Sports Memorabilia Attorney Help?

If you’ve purchased fraudulent sports cards and memorabilia anywhere in the United States, our sports memorabilia attorneys can help. We believe in aggressively protecting your rights as a consumer and litigating tenaciously against companies to obtain the compensation that our clients deserve. A few of the matters our sports memorabilia lawyers can help you with include:!

  • Fraudulent sports cards and memorabilia
  • Counterfeit items
  • Fraudulent Certificates of Authenticity
  • Forged signatures on autographed articles
  • Recovering the cost of purchase for counterfeit items

Sellers of counterfeit and fraudulent sports memorabilia are subject to severe penalties. Each mail fraud charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. If you believe that you have a case, speak with a skilled sports memorabilia lawyer who can evaluate the facts and pursue litigation if necessary.

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Contact Our Experienced Sports Memorabilia Attorneys 

The hobby or investment strategy of collecting sports memorabilia frequently involves complicated legal matters. No matter what state you’ve been the victim of fraud in, our sports memorabilia attorneys at The Law Offices of Jibrael S. Hindi can help you recover the compensation you are legally entitled to. 

With over a decade of combined experience fighting against America’s largest corporations through individual and class-action litigation, our lawyers have the unique insight and expertise in consumer protection law. When you partner with our skilled sports memorabilia attorneys, we counsel you through each step to ensure your interests are protected. 

These are severe cases for which there can be substantial recovery. Our firm often takes cases on a contingency basis whereby the firm does not get paid unless a recovery is achieved on your behalf. To speak with a knowledgeable sports memorabilia lawyer about your counterfeit sports card or memorabilia situation, schedule a free consultation by completing a contact form or call (844)-JIBRAEL.

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