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With no simple method of detecting these counterfeits and most collectors not knowing who to trust, many believed this epidemic could single handily ruin the baseball card market.However, in 1991, the “savior” of the industry arrived, Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA).Finally, using a clear adhesive, the holder is resealed and ready to be sold.All of the fake flips utilize legitimate cert numbers, so if the cards are looked up in PSA database, they will match the card in the holder, but realize these numbers can be easily obtained and have no meaning on determining whether the card is authentic or not.Only the most knowledgeable collectors and dealers, who were familiar with the intricacies of the cards, such as printing techniques and card stock properties, were able to comfortably buy higher dollar cards without the threat of being cheated.The common collector was a prime candidate to be taken advantage of.The easiest way to check flip authenticity is by looking at the bar code.

The most widely known and successful scam originated in California and is referred to amongst collectors as the “California Craigslist PSA scam”.PSA offered a service to both grade and authenticate baseball cards.Any cards sent to PSA would be graded and stored in a tamper proof case, thus ensuring the safe buying and selling of that card in the future.Notice in the picture below showing a Hank Aaron RC that the upper half of the holder is frosted.The flips that are used in this scam are homemade, so they utilize a different font, character alignment, and spacing than authentic flips.

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