(Newport Beach, California) - PSA/DNA experts warn that fake Gerald Ford autographs and other counterfeit memorabilia are expected to enter the marketplace following this week's death of the former President.
"This happens every time a famous political, sports or entertainment figure passes," cautioned Joe Orlando, President of PSA/DNA (www.PSADNA.com), the world's largest autograph and memorabilia authentication service and a division of publicly-held Collectors Universe, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLCT).
"Online auctions are suddenly filled with spurious signatures, and frankly, many collectors don't know exactly what they're buying. There was a sharp increase in questionable autographs in the marketplace immediately after the deaths of former President Ronald Reagan, baseball Hall of Fame player Ted Williams and other celebrities," said Orlando.
Buyers may not have adequate consumer protection even if an autograph is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.
"Collectors who purchase autographs or memorabilia need to know the reputation of the seller and need to know the reputation and expertise of the authenticators. There are cases where forgers print and issue their own certificates to unsuspecting buyers," Orlando said.
"The bottom line is that a certificate or letter of authenticity is only as strong as the name behind it."
Approximately 150,000 autographs were submitted to PSA/DNA for authentication in 2006, and it was not uncommon to see a rejection rate of 50 percent or higher for autographs of popular signors, especially where the values for their genuine signatures are high.
PSA/DNA works with eBay to offer prospective bidders a "quick opinion" service that renders expert judgments that autographs posted for sale are either "likely genuine" or "likely not genuine."For additional information, contact PSA/DNA, P.O. Box 6180, Newport Beach, California 92658. Phone: (800) 325-1121. E-mail: [email protected]. Online: www.PSADNA.com.