(Santa Ana, California) -- Collectors and fans are cautioned about the anticipated explosion of fake Michael Jackson autographs and counterfeit memorabilia that will be offered following the entertainer's death.

"This happens every time a famous Hollywood, sports or political celebrity passes away. Online auctions and flea markets are suddenly filled with spurious signatures, and frankly many collectors don't know exactly what they're buying," said Joe Orlando, President PSA/DNA Authentication Services, the world's largest autograph and memorabilia authentication company and a division of Collectors Universe, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLCT) of Santa Ana, California.

"While Michael Jackson certainly was popular, he usually didn't offer fans frequent autograph access like some other celebrities. So, there simply are not as many Jackson autographs as there are of other contemporary mega-stars."

Orlando also cautioned that autograph buyers may not have adequate consumer protection even if the signature is accompanied by what appears to be a certificate of authenticity.

"Collectors who purchase autographs or memorabilia need to know the reputation of the seller and the reputation and expertise of the authenticators. The bottom line is that a certificate or letter of authenticity is only as strong as the name behind it," Orlando said.