Chinese Fake Stamps Scam Confirmed By Stanley Gibbons
By way of example; Mr Andrew Titcombe, an experienced stamp dealer from Wigton in Cumbria, recently purchased a consignment of stamps from China. On their arrival his experience led him to suspect they were forgeries. He found he was unable to pursue his complaint via the Royal Mail or eBay (the internet site where he purchased the stamps) but, to his credit, he didn't let things rest.
Mr Titcombe subsequently managed to get the matter featured on BBC2's "Working Lunch" programme who arranged a consultation with an expert from Stanley Gibbons who soon confirmed the stamps purchased were indeed forgeries.
Hopefully Mr Titcombe used Paypal to make the original purchase and the expert opinion of Stanley Gibbons will enable him to reclaim the money spent on these stamps.
Sadly I'm 100% certain that this will be one of many online scams from China to hit GB stamp collectors in coming weeks and months. For me eBay is just as much of a victim in these type of cases because their very size and success means they will often be the venue of choice for fraudsters. However, that said, collectors should still keep their guard up at any of the online sales websites.
When buying on eBay and paying with Paypal, collectors usually have 45 days to file a refund claim if the item they receive is "significantly not as described". In the case of specialist collectables like postage stamps Paypal may require an expert opinion to confirm a forgery but this protection is one of Paypal's great attractions in my opinion. Over many years I've had three experiences of Paypal claims and in every instance I found their settlement process to be fair and efficient.
Personally, given my experiences as a webmaster in addition to the repeated examples of fakes, forgeries and scams I've seen and heard about, I refuse to knowingly buy anything from China online now. With luck the authorities there will eventually see a need to crack down on these people who are ruining what remains of their nation's reputation for honesty.
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