Recipe For Fraud

Here is an educational insight into the roles of the people behind the "less that authentic" items on the market.

Some people selling these horrid items are for the most part, totally unaware of the "lack of authenticity" of the item. A small percentage, probably less than 1% are just down right uneducated, and are reselling their "treasure" hoping to make a profit on the online auction Wheel Of Fortune!!

But the other 99% of these forgers and scammers fall into 6 very distinct categories. They are as follows:

  1. Clintonites: Those that manipulate words and listings. They get away with their mumbo-jumbo because of the wording. Sort of the art of "half truth". Their motto is "If you can't dazzle 'em with brilliance, baffle 'em with B.S." They are very fond of words and phrases such as "looks and appears old", "just like the one in XYZ's book", "recently aquired" etc.
  2. D.B. Coopers: We have all seen this. Seeing the same items, over and over. Only the original seller disappears to reappear somewhere else by another "seller name" on the online auctions. Sort of like a nasty little virus. They are the Distributors, Mules or Pipeline for the main manufacturer. See "FBI Bait" below.
  3. FBI Bait: These are the actually producers of the bogus junk. Premeditated larceny and counterfeiting at it's worst. These people prey upon the weak and uneducated. Making the Pender discs, repro tintypes/ambros, coins, swords, etc. Out and out criminals spreading fraud and counterfeiting. Until the FBI and government as well as the Online auctions allowing it, recognize this as a major problem and crime, then we, as honest collectors/dealers are left on our own.
  4. Houdini's: Now you see it, now you don't. Lots of smoke 'n' mirrors. For example, these people take swords such as the India imports, stamped as such and ADD to the letters in INDIA to appear as INDIANA. The hand is quicker than the eye. Also restamp and re-roll guns cylinder scenes, serial numbers etc. Also very adept at autographs on CDV's etc. A fantastic "slight of hand" trick!! Historical Fornicators to the exponential limit!!!
  5. Fiction Writers: These people are the uneducated about militaria and civil war. They construct and weave a big story about the "rare CS plate with minie ball" lodged in it. Saying it comes from a "friend" of theirs who is a local digger at XYZ battlefield. And usually they associate with other people that will swear to their "story".
  6. Shills 'n' Thrills: Sometimes selling good items, sometimes bad. People and auctioneers raving about their wares and then having people working in concert with them by bidding. Thusly, driving the prices up on auctions, both online and in real life. Quite obvious to the educated and the observant. Driving the market values up on their personal wares, as well as creating a market for "fakes" since the real thing is getting so expensive.

A lot of this fraud could be nipped in the bud. But several online auctions, as well as The FBI, The ATF, The Treasury Department and other authorites are hard pressed to do anything!!! Which is basically protecting the sellers by allowing bad items to be sold.

Many less than honest sellers online are very bold due to the anonymity factor, as well as lack of legal repercussions. You don't even have to look someone in the eyes to sell your "story". Makes it very easy and convenient to sell these crappy items. Especially when the "host" of an auction, mall, flea market etc allows this to happen.

And it is all for the love of money! Plain and simple. Get rich quick, and to heck with everyone else is the motto of these folks. Money corrupts plain and simple.

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