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2017 Counterfeit Flag Stamp On Cover?

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Posted 01/11/2021   7:57 pm  Show Profile Check matttodd1's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add matttodd1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I just received a cover in today's mail, and the 2017 flag stamp sure looks counterfeit.

Scanned below with cover stamp at top, and a genuine stamp below. The supposed counterfeit at top looks far less sharp in the print, and significantly darker in color. I'll keep it on cover :)

-Matt
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Posted 01/11/2021   8:07 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Petert4522 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Could you somehow put a larger scan on here please?
The reason I ask this - there are two different printers involved and I would like to see the micro-printing

Peter
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Edited by Petert4522 - 01/11/2021 8:12 pm
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Posted 01/11/2021   9:11 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add JLLebbert to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Judging by the die-cuts, I think the top stamp ought to be 5158 (APU) while the bottom stamp is 5159 (BCA). I can barely see the vertical USPS microprint at the right end of the 4th red stripe on the BCA stamp. I cannot detect any microprint on the top stamp. If present, and if the stamp is an APU coil, it would read horizontally at the right end of the 2nd white stripe and be situated at the very top of that stripe.
There are no fewer than 14 different counterfeits of the APU coil listed in the 2021 Scott Catalogue.
Added: You might check the gauge of the die-cuts to see if they match the 11 of the APU stamp. You might also check the width of the design. One of the 5158 counterfeits measures more than 1mm wider than a genuine 5158. My catalogue gives 23.8mm as the width of 5158(CF1) ... which has no microprint or tagging.
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Edited by JLLebbert - 01/11/2021 9:15 pm
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Posted 01/12/2021   4:21 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add coversRfun2 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Matt, thanks for this news. If you haven't yet, you might want to compare these under a magnifying glass. The printing of a fake no matter how good looking at normal view will appear fuzzier when magnified. Compare lettering too.

I have a fake on cover which looks just like yours. The diecutting is an exact match in appearance like they were trying to copy the Scott 5159 (BCA) version. But there is no microprinting USPS on mine and I bet there is none on yours either.

I disagree with Mr. Lebbert that the diecut is like Scott 5158 (APU). APU's die cuts on coils are always precise, they have angled edges to the socalled peaks and valleys as compared to BCA's coils and anyone's booklet stamp serpentine edging. I am uploading an example of the APU die cutting, note at all four corners the peak-valley business has stopped and the corners are all nice and square. You do not find this on BCAs coils or fakes copying BCA.
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Posted 01/12/2021   4:40 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Petert4522 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
CoversTfun2, thank you for posting that cover. I hope the OP will re-post his.
One question. Is your stamp tagged?


Peter
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Posted 01/12/2021   4:49 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add coversRfun2 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
In hindsight I wish I had tried to superimpose a label on the pic I posted of kraft envelope corner, that is a genuine APU version (Scott 5158) flag coil. It is tagged. USPS microprinting is seen in upper right rightside edge of first white stripe. I wanted to show clearly the diecutting to help earlier posts. It is distinctive to APU coils.

The fake I have that looks like Matts is not tagged. I would post a pic but not until I can get an id label on top of it.
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Posted 01/12/2021   4:55 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add coversRfun2 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
By the way it just occured to me. I bet Scott lists the counterfeits (CF ? numbers) by the closest design being faked, not the diecuts. So their 5158(CF1) which has been mentioned earlier should have an attempt to put the USPS microprinting in at the right edge of first white stripe at upper right instead of forgetting the microprinting.

Otherwise the diecutting would not try to be matched. Very few fakes I have learned about over the years try to copy the distinctive APU style with crisp four squared corners too. Most have good or sloppy peaks and valleys like Matt's fake and BCA's style (Scott 5159).
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Posted 01/12/2021   7:55 pm  Show Profile Check eyeonwall's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add eyeonwall to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I agree with coversRfun2 that the original 2 have BCA-like die cuts.
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Posted 01/13/2021   06:31 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add blcjr to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
On a slightly tangential note, what would be the motivation for faking flag stamps. Can they be faked and used in sufficient quantities to justify the risk of getting caught using them? How do they get out into the wild? Are they sold at discounts that would tempt volume mailers to not ask questions when buying them?

Just curious about this.
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Posted 01/13/2021   08:01 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Petert4522 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Sold on eBay quite often

Peter
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Posted 01/13/2021   08:09 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
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Posted 01/13/2021   11:25 am  Show Profile Check matttodd1's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add matttodd1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Here's the original stamp scanned at 1200dpi. The print is very rough, by comparison to the genuine stamp shown in the original post, below the suspected counterfeit.


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Posted 01/13/2021   11:29 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Petert4522 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you Matt. Can you let us know where this was cancelled?


Peter
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Posted 01/13/2021   11:30 am  Show Profile Check matttodd1's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add matttodd1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Mailed from Dallas - cancelled Jan 8 2021.
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Posted 01/13/2021   4:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mike2006 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
@Blcjr, The quick answer to your question is they can and are being used in sufficient quantities to make it worth the risk. As it seems that there is no enforcement to stop it.

Counterfeit are being sold on eBay to the the tune of 10's if not 100's of millions of dollars a year, I recently saw just 2 sellers alone that had sold about a half a million dollars (face value) in counterfeit stamps at about a 20% discount. They are having no trouble selling them.
I suspect many of the buyers are just unsuspecting individuals using them on there mail.
Most if not all of these counterfeits cannot be easily identified by the average buyer or even postal employees.

Here is a link to another seller, not one of the above, that has had $189,000 in sales with just 6 listings all various forever stamps, selling for 75-77% of face.

https://www.ebay.com/sch/melvzo/m.h...047675.l2562

I will add a disclaimer to the above sellers listings, about it being counterfeits as I did not buy from them, but I will let you be the judge.

And in Ebays infinate wisdom they suddenly banned/enforced sellers from listing counterfeit stamps, I found this out when they suddenly took down one I had listed.

I called them up and talked to a CSR, explaining that they are going after the wrong sellers. I actually showed her one of the listings that should be the target, and pointed out that particular seller had a few other listings of counterfeits, and between them they totaled almost $200,000 in sales.
The CSR rep was actually very nice and understood that these would have to be counterfeits (nobody has that many extra forever stamps just laying around). I also told her there are many other listings like this, and they don't have the word counterfeit in the listing, but are being sold for actual use as postage, which is a federal crime. She said she would show the listing to her manager, but when I checked a while back it had not been ended.

So unfortunately , eBay seems to choose to ignore this problem, as it is quite profitable for them.
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Edited by mike2006 - 01/13/2021 10:05 pm
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Posted 01/13/2021   4:13 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
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