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  #1  
Old 03-17-2009, 11:37 AM
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Posted By: Tim

I was one of the eighteen victims of the PSA scam which resulted in the arrest of Cyrus Stivers and they are still looking for the key suspect (Jose Hernandez) involved in counterfeiting PSA cards and then contacting buyers through Ebay ultimately selling them using C.O.D. I'm told the amount that was close if not in excess of $1 million. I'm interested to hear from anyone who has contacted Joe Orlando at PSA and when was he notified. This scam started around May 2008 and continued until this point when Stivers was arrested in California. The cards were counterfeited in Mexico by Hernandez and then past to Stivers who would contact prople sending them scans of these cards and using the C.O.D. method to collect. I would appreciate any information about when Joe Orlando was notified and who contacted him.

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  #2  
Old 03-17-2009, 12:10 PM
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Posted By: andy becker

i haven't heard this story. good luck.

were the scammers selling pre-war? post-war? modern? all of the above?

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  #3  
Old 03-17-2009, 12:11 PM
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Posted By: James Gallo

Tim,

So how did the counterfit cards get into holders? Were they actaually sent to PSA and graded or were they crack jobs with fake labels. Did they keep doing the same cards or were there a whole bunch of different cards done?

Just wondering, sorry about your mess.

James G

Looking for 1915 Cracker Jacks and 1909-11 American Caramel E90-1.

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  #4  
Old 03-17-2009, 01:02 PM
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Posted By: Dan Bretta

Are these the fake PSA slabs that were showing up on Craigslist?

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  #5  
Old 03-17-2009, 01:15 PM
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Posted By: Bottom of the Ninth

Don't tell me that Orlando turned his back on this one too. One would have thought he would have learned his lesson with the When It Was A Game debacle. Then again he has tightly aligned himself with Memory Lane so...

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  #6  
Old 03-17-2009, 01:22 PM
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Posted By: D. C. Markel

I'd be curious to know what kind of cards were counterfeited. The great thing about PSA's registry is that when you register the cert number into your set it will let you know if the number is legit or not.

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  #7  
Old 03-17-2009, 01:22 PM
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Posted By: marty q

dan- pretty sure this is the craigslist guy(s).......and if joe o does know what is he going to do?? go walk the streets of n.y. and you could buy all the fake brand name stuff you want. right down to batteries. i dont hink psa could do anything just like fendi or coach and all the others cant. honestly c.o.d!! i dont want to pile on but did you really think this was legit?? sorry this happened to you guy's but at least from now on you will question everything you buy. look at it this way, you pay for an education, and this one might pay divedends in the future. you may not get your $$$ back but you may save a bunch with what you know now, (of course that all depends how much you got ripped off for) a million is alot of fake cards!!..good luck, hope they get whats coming..

if this is the same guy, wich i think it is it was from 52 mantles to goudey ruth's to t-206 cobb's, pretty much high dollar cards.

ya know i'm wrong, there is something joe and psa could do. at least make the hobby aware of this problem. do an article in smr, anything to acknowledge this, so yes i guess psa could do something.

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  #8  
Old 03-17-2009, 01:24 PM
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Posted By: Mike Luciano

What was the When It Was A Game problem?
Mike

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  #9  
Old 03-17-2009, 02:59 PM
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Posted By: Anonymous

Hernandez is the guy that was selling that 52 mantle 2 months back,
the one with the slips of paper all over it? He also sold a 34 Goudry
gerhig and got feedback and we thought it was a shill? This Hernandez person called himself Rudy Tang.

Msohn actually sent the guy some money 12K? and got nothing.

He decided not to pursue this issue.

I'm not sure these cards were from the criaglist scam, that was a different scam.

What would anyone expect Joe Orlando to do? People buy a 5.00 card in a PSA slab, take a bogus 52 Mantle and place it in said slab. They then troll the PSA site and take a real cert number and create a cert. Then it's on to ebay
and they try to sell it there.

This was not a PSA scam, it was IMO a scam using PSA slabs.

If someone counterfeited 20.00 bills would we call it a US TREASURY SCAM?

The problem is PSA's insistence on keeping the slab tamper evident and not one that breaks apart or is too difficult to open (like Beckett).

I'd contact M. Sohn for more details.

Steve

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  #10  
Old 03-17-2009, 04:15 PM
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Posted By: Richie

Jose Hernandez was from craigslist. I was one of the idiots who sent him $1000 for a 1952 bowman mantle psa 6. I did not pursue it. But he also sold under ebay i think. With the ad he wrote on ebay was same was i sent him payment. I deposited the money in his Bank of American account. I know how stupid can i be. When card was shipped it was overnighted to me from California. In the return address was my address also. I forgot what town in California it was mailed out of. But at the time i looked it up and it was right on the border of Mexico. I hope all involved gets caught. This is the actual fake card and holder.

[linked image]

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  #11  
Old 03-17-2009, 05:58 PM
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Posted By: MIsunderestimated

To follow up on what someone up above in this thread said the title of the thread seems misleading. "PSA Scam suggests that it was PSA's scam , that PSA perpetrated the scam. It sounds more like PSA was a victim -- in semi-legalese PSA's "good name" in the marketplace was damaged.
Hopefully PSA is cooperating with whatever law enforcement is doing....

In any event thanks for bringing this to "our" (meaning the people who read the board) attention.

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  #12  
Old 03-17-2009, 06:10 PM
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Posted By: Double-P-Enterprises

Jose Hernandez and his PSA scams go back long before this. In November of 2004, I inquired, via Ebay, on a "blurry" PSA 1 52 Topps Mantle and asked the seller for a better scan. I received an email stating that he also had a PSA 2 and would ship them COD via FedEx and I only had to turn the cashier's check over to FedEx once I opened the package and liked the cards. The price was 4,000 and after a couple phone calls, I bit.

Bottom line, the cards showed up, they were fake (good fakes) in fake PSA holders (excellent fake PSA holders) and I had to get the local police to stop FedEx from sending my $4,000 cashier's check back to the seller. It was routed back to a FedEx Station in San Diego, CA as "customer pickup". Fortunately I lived in an upscale part of a large city and the police didn't have many other things to do so I asked for their assistance. The officer was great, took the cards, and my check and said he'd sort it out with all parties. 30 days later I received a call to come get my check as they could not make contact with the other party. 30 days after that I received another call to come pick up the cards if I wanted them or they would be thrown away. Obviously no one at the precinct collected cards as a kid which I found odd.

I contact Joe Orlando and did a phone interview with their attorney's a month or so later. They were well aware of the guy and I was told they were doing what they could to catch them. I turned over all documentation that I had as well as the two Mantle cards to PSA and haven't heard a word since. I assume they did all that they could but who knows. As I didn't incur any loss, I didn't pursue it further. Joe Orlando, in my opinion, handled the situation professionally, and was very kind to me. I got the sense that he was genuinely concerned about the situation.

Good luck getting whole in the situation.

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  #13  
Old 03-17-2009, 06:28 PM
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Posted By: Kevin Saucier

This continues to boggle my mind.

Hypothetical:
A buyer will look at a used Hyundai for $1,000. He will kick the tires, look under the hood, check the fluid levels, give it a test drive and think about it for a few days. Even though the seller says the Hyundai dealer gave it a thumbs-up, the seller will still bring it to his mechanic for a thorough inspection.

Now offer a T206 Cobb with a PSA label (or SGC) for $$5,000 and it will be blindly purchased, no questions asked. The buyer will not send it anywhere for another opinion or make any effort to educate himself (or herself) on what to look for or how the grading standards work.

Wonder if this happens in the majority of other high-end hobbies as well?

This is why I prefer Beckett. Their holders are virtually indestructible and they were smart enough to ask for opinions to improve their product...no ego's. The UV protection and cards that don't slide around just add to the overall security. All my top cards have or will be crossed for those reasons.

Sorry to say but PSA and SGC are making it too easy for the slab and/or flip doctors. Even though they know the security flaws or areas of needed improvement, nothing seems to have been done or attempted to make a better product. Their holders can be used to dupe buyers all day long. If all remains status quo, it will continue to get worse which may devalue the legitimate cards.


Kevin Saucier


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  #14  
Old 03-17-2009, 07:47 PM
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Posted By: D. C. Markel

Kevin,

One of the victims just said the holders were fakes - so it's not a tampering issue. If people can go to great lengths to generate nearly undetectable counterfeit U.S. currency or Rolex watches, then making knock-off Beckett slabs should not be that daunting of a task. As the old saying goes, "The crooks follow the money".

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  #15  
Old 03-17-2009, 11:16 PM
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Posted By: Bruce Perry

the 1952B Mantle PSA 9 currently on ebay is a fake also...the font is a dead giveaway...the seller is from San Diego.....Joe Orlando was notified today...lets hope the card is taken off ebay....the bid was already quite high

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  #16  
Old 03-18-2009, 05:33 AM
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Posted By: Felicia

The 4's on the flip are a dead giveaway amongst other things.

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  #17  
Old 03-18-2009, 05:59 AM
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Posted By: J.McMurry

Can anybody post some detailed scans of the bogus holders?

It would really help to know details of what to look for on a total fake, or a holder thats been tampered with.

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  #18  
Old 03-18-2009, 06:11 AM
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Posted By: Sean C

then they are done for. I could be wrong, but didn't their coin grading division run into a similar problem recently with fakes from China?

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  #19  
Old 03-18-2009, 06:18 AM
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Posted By: Sean C

Here is the PSA 9

[linked image]

Here is a link to the folder that the person is using on photobucket to host the image:

http://s681.photobucket.com/albums/vv173/partyintijuana/

Anyone ever heard of Xtreme Entertainment, or TJMix ?

Looks like someone is having a party:

[linked image]

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  #20  
Old 03-18-2009, 07:17 AM
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Posted By: J.McMurry

Thanks for the scan.

Now, is that a completely manufactured counterfeit, or a legit holder that has been popped open and cards switched?

I admit that I'm just not seeing the clues to look for.

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  #21  
Old 03-18-2009, 07:55 AM
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Posted By: Steve

I think they used legit slabs which they popped
open and inserted fake cards.


They then went to the registry and used a cert number to match whatever
card they were faking.


Steve

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  #22  
Old 03-18-2009, 08:14 AM
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Posted By: Steve Murray

Actually was buying legitimate cards in legitimate holders and switching out lesser conditioned, but real, cards. They would then submit my 7 raw to PSA and have it holdered and start the process all over again. I once sold a PSA 59T Mantle to them and suspect that a 4 or 5 now resides in the holder.

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  #23  
Old 03-18-2009, 09:32 AM
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Posted By: Richie

The holder I have is a legit holder. The holder was tampered with. I think the person selling these cards actually has these cards. What he does is gets them graded at PSA. Once he gets them back from PSA he pops out the legit card and then puts in bogus card. Now it has the proper holder, proper label with #s that match up.

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  #24  
Old 03-18-2009, 10:03 AM
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Posted By: Tim

I'll try and respond to all who contributed to this issue:
Andy - Counterfeited most pre-war cards...Ruth, Cobb, Gehrig, Aaron, Mays, Mantle, Robinson pre-1955 all w/ high $ value
James - Very sophisticated operation w/ high tech equipment and supplies that duplicated PSA holders and flips were counterfeited
as well. You can tell by the font (but remember that PSA changed their fonts years ago) but the telltale sign is the UPC
symbols which are blurry and not crisp like an original PSA.
Dan - They have shown up on Craigslist according to another victim I've been in contact with. He can usually spot them on the
internet and contacts the seller to notify them that they are selling a fake.
Bottom of the Ninth - Joe Orlando has turned his back on this issue. My gripe is he just sat back while people were getting scammed
without notifying any of his customers. That is irresponsible and negligent.
D.C. Markel - The PSA registry number was copied from the original PSA card so if you looked it up, it would tell you it was
good. That's what I did before purchasing these cards. They would provide a scan and I would send the money C.O.D.
Anonymous - Steve, if someone was counterfeiting dollar bills, would the U.S. Treasury allow that? So why is PSA sitting on their
hands?
Misunderstood - If PSA was a victim, why are they not taking a more proactive approach? Ill tell you why, because they want to
protect their famous name and have you keep having your cards graded. If they said, "our cards have been
counterfeited", how many people would run to BGS?
Double-P-Enterprises - If Joe Orlando handled your issue professionally, why didn't he alert people...post on this site or any other
or sent out letters to his customers? Didn't want to spent money on postage??? Do you know how many people would have
saved their hard-earned money since 2004 until now? Why didn't he step up to the plate?

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  #25  
Old 03-18-2009, 12:12 PM
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Posted By: Darren

And these are just some of the guys who got caught...

For every outfit that gets outed there are probably 10 or so still in operation...

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  #26  
Old 03-18-2009, 12:17 PM
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Posted By: Tim

I've uploaded some pictures to photobucket.com How do I get them to this site?

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  #27  
Old 03-18-2009, 12:41 PM
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Posted By: Marty Ogelvie

I think you simply paste the url;

the below picture was pulled from the oldcardboard site. I simply right clicked on the image and copied the source url, then simply pasted that url into here..

[linked image]



marty
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  #28  
Old 03-18-2009, 01:27 PM
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Posted By: Tim

I have the picture on my desktop but it's ghosted out when I bring it to the message.

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  #29  
Old 03-18-2009, 02:24 PM
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Posted By: Sean C

there should be a text link below the image that looks something like this:


i681.photobucket.com/albums/vv173/partyintijuana/mantle.png

with http in front of it. copy that link, come over here, and paste that whole text into a message text window here.

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  #30  
Old 03-18-2009, 03:03 PM
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Posted By: Steve

Tim

Are you saying they also made slabs?


Did I read that correctly?

You make a lot of assumptions with your post btw.

Steve

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  #31  
Old 03-18-2009, 03:31 PM
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Posted By: JimB

I agree with others. The title of this thread is misleading. It sounds like you are suggesting that PSA is behind the scam, when they are not. Obviously it is PSA's best interest that the police catch the criminals and resolve the issue asap. Why throw out inflammatory language?
JimB

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  #32  
Old 03-18-2009, 03:59 PM
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Posted By: Steve

Tim

Not trying to rub salt in your wound (s)
but I have a few questions. These hi dollar cards
that you and others bought was it a too good too be true scenario?
That is did you think you were getting a great deal?

Another question is, you received the card before you paid
were you able to inspect it first? Or was it here is a package
and the shipper wanted the dough?

Also what makes you think that PSA is not doing anything?

Just because it may appear that way does not mean that they have not.

I'm sorry that you lost you hard earned money but at the same time
it does not amaze me as con artists are smooth.

Steve

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  #33  
Old 03-18-2009, 04:28 PM
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Posted By: Jeff Lichtman

Jim B, I would say that it is more obvious that it is in PSA's interests to have the fraudsters caught AND that it does not get out that its flips and slabs are being counterfeited. As much as we like to think that the grading and auction companies are all about the cards, let's remember that they are businesses first.

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  #34  
Old 03-18-2009, 05:08 PM
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Posted By: jim

Most of the craigslist cards have the same bar code on the psa flip. I believe this card on ebay is also one of them, I emailed the seller but he wasn't interested.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&it em=140278462641#ebayphotohosting


[IMG][linked image][/IMG]

[IMG][linked image][/IMG]

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  #35  
Old 03-18-2009, 05:47 PM
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Posted By: Jeff Lichtman

We've seen all of these fakes before -- and the font on the flip is screwy in each one. Why were these fakes so hard to notice?

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  #36  
Old 03-18-2009, 06:35 PM
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Posted By: J.McMurry

Now I'm starting to get embarrassed, because I dont think I could spot the fake flips without them being side by side with a legit one.(and I'm not sure that would be a guarantee.)

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  #37  
Old 03-18-2009, 06:39 PM
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Posted By: Anonymous

Why did PSA stop using holograms a number of years ago?

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  #38  
Old 03-18-2009, 06:48 PM
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Posted By: Tim

Steve - I think they also made the slabs but I'm not 100% sure. If they didn't, how would they get into the existing slab w/o damaging it? I also don't know what you mean when you say, "I'm making assumptions w/ my post btw"? What is btw? I know that the flips were fake as well as all the cards they sold. I'm trying to tell me story so I apologize if I'm not a card expert like some of you contributing to this issue. I also know for a FACT that PSA is doing NOTHING about this because I wrote to Joe Orlando and another victim who I've been in contact w/ has spoken to Joe on several occasions to try and get reimbursed from their insurance but he gave this victim the run-around. If he was doing something about it how could this be going on for over 4 years? Has to protect their fine reputation.
Jim B.- let me make one thing clear...I never suggested at all that PSA was involved in this scam. It is a scam of bogus PSA cards. I never threw inflammatory language at PSA or anyone. What part of that didn't you understand? If ignoring the issue and trying to pretend nothing ever happened or not trying to warn their customers that their are fradulent PSA cards out there is inflammatory, then so be your interpretation. I suggest you read what Jeff Lichman wrote in his thread. He is right on!!

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  #39  
Old 03-18-2009, 06:59 PM
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Posted By: Anonymous

I agree that PSA should aggressively try to combat this fraud, but I can't see why its insurance should compensate a victim of the scam. Is Rolex going to compensate someone who buys a knockoff thinking it's the real thing?

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  #40  
Old 03-18-2009, 07:09 PM
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Posted By: Jeff Lichtman

Tim, just as PSA would not want it to be widely publicized that its flips and slabs were being counterfeited due to the negative impact on its bottom line, collectors with a lot of money tied up in PSA slabs would not want PSA's reputation to take a hit -- for the same bottom line reasons.

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  #41  
Old 03-18-2009, 07:30 PM
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Posted By: Richie

Tim, The card i bought from the guy Jose Hernadez is in a real PSA holder and not a bogus one. If you take a good look at one i have you can see frost marks on holder. The label is also a real PSA label. If you take good look at it you will see a lot of frost color around the holder. The card that i posted a picture of is hard to see the frost. If you look at one Sean put up you can see frost on top of the holder.

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  #42  
Old 03-18-2009, 07:38 PM
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Posted By: PC

This is more of the same old scam. See this thread for scans of other high dollar fakes in fake slabs with fake flips:
http://www.network54.com/Forum/579392/thread/1228269653/last-1228404681/

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  #43  
Old 03-18-2009, 08:04 PM
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Posted By: Steve

Tim

Thanks for the reply, however you missed one question.

BTW....means by the way.

Why should PSA or any company reimburse victims of a crime
with their insurance? That part eludes me.

And yes Lichtman usually hits things right on the head.

As for the slabs earlier you stated they counterfeited them.

Like mentioned you will see that they used existing slabs

and created certs using numbers they got from the registry.

My point about you making assumptions, I was trying to imply

you really don't know what they have been doing with law enforcement.

For all anyone knows thay have been working with them.

If you feel they have not done enough maybe you could get them into a court?

Lastly sorry this happened to you.







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Old 03-18-2009, 08:36 PM
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Posted By: Kevin Saucier

Now I'm starting to get embarrassed, because I dont think I could spot the fake flips without them being side by side with a legit one.(and I'm not sure that would be a guarantee.)


Don't be embarrassed, as mentioned in a previous post, PSA could not even tell the difference. Although these are are blurry and lesser quality, a fake made from a real flip that has been erased is difficult, at best, to detect.

Matter of fact, some time ago I posted a graded card that obviously had a switched card inside...included (for fun) was a forged flip. Nobody gave it a second thought because it was not detectable. I even set it aside and labeled it (and others) "fake" to avoid confusion.

In the end I don't think anything will stop the professional con artist with mass produced fake flips/slabs but it can be slowed down with added security. Some of the grading companies are well aware of how easy it is, they just choose to do nothing about it.

For what it's worth, Global did come out with a tested counterfeit resistant flip...it's the one with the new blue background. Mark Anderson (and staff) at Beckett is very proactive and tries to stay well ahead of the scammers.


Kevin

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Old 03-18-2009, 10:43 PM
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Posted By: JimB

Tim,
Easy tiger. happy.gif I am not trying to start one of the infamous Net 54 fights. If it proceeds in that way, I will cease to participate in this discussion. All I did was suggest that a thread entitled "PSA scam" sounds a bit like you are accusing PSA of being perpetrators of the scam. I am not the only one that read it that way. After reading your full story, you clearly are not. My suggestion, in fairness to all concerned, is to change the title of the thread. As for Jeff Lichtman, he basically reiterated exactly what I said, namely that it is in PSA's best interest (as a for profit business) to have this resolved ASAP.
Take care,
Jim

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  #46  
Old 03-19-2009, 01:13 AM
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Posted By: JimB

Just reread your note to me: When did I say anything about ignoring the issue or trying to pretend like nothing happened?
JimB

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Old 03-19-2009, 01:40 AM
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Posted By: Bottom of the Ninth

Jim, he was referring to CU/PSA, not you.

It is too bad that PSA has a tendency to keep the public in the dark on certain matters. It would have been helpful to have guidance to identify cards which may have been part of the When It Was A Game fraud but none was ever offered. And to a lessor extent, knowing that they are willing to offer new cert numbers for cards for a certain advertiser of theirs. I hope this is not another one of those matters they decide to sweep under the carpet as they "cooperate with law enforcement."

Not all efforts perpetrating fraud can be stopped but it does surprise me that so little effort has been made to make their holders more tamper resistant or tamper evident.

Greg

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Old 03-19-2009, 02:29 AM
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Posted By: Bill Williams

Anyone want to buy flips/cases that are identicle to PSA's?? You gotta order 500 at a time though, and if you choose the do it yourself option you need an ultrasonic welder

http://gmagrading.com/category/grade-your-own/option-2/

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Old 03-19-2009, 05:52 AM
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Posted By: J.McMurry

Thanks for the reply Kevin,

The thing that is throwing me is that there seems to be no consistency in the print quality on the PSA flip,I mean its all over the place. I have some that are a God aweful thick blurry print that makes me think fake,but its a mid grade, common football card that I only paid $10 for on ebay. why fake that?

I'm starting to like Beckett more and more.

PSA is missing out on a golden opportunity to increase revenues by introducing a new "tamper resistent" holder.

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Old 03-19-2009, 08:38 AM
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Posted By: Jason

PSA should make a new holder. Then come up with a promotion where you can send in your old holdered PSA cards to be re-holdered with their new revolutionary tamper-proof holder. (And give bumps where applicable)

It would be great and restore integrity.

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