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1952 Topps Mantle Rookie Counterfeit in PSA Holder

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Quote Originally Posted by Mrdevintage View Post
Collectors & Dealers.
I want to warn you about the counterfeit graded PSA cards in circulation. I purchased a 1952 Topps Mantle Rookie back in December. I am not a graded card expert. I do more memorabilia. Over the years I noticed the PSA ads and they convinced me that you need to only buy graded cards to protect yourself from cards that are counterfeit or altered. But behind the scenes you have crooks removing cards from PSA holders and replacing them with counterfeit cards. I was amazed when I read the blogs and saw how common this was. Has there ever been a warning from PSA to collectors about the counterfeits. No. How about a warning in SCD. No, because it would be a conflict of interest. Before the purchase, I wanted to make sure I did not make a mistake. I made a call to PSA to ask if the cards were stolen. I wanted to be sure. The rep told me they do not keep such records. So I told the rep that I was buying some very expensive cards and wanted to know what to look for. The rep told me to MAKE SURE THE SERIAL NUMBERS MATCH UP. Well of course they do. I had a few shouting matches with the president of PSA. He told me all about the tamper evident case. (See picture of the1953 Topps graded PSA 8 ad) This 1953 Topps PSA 8 has evidence of tampering around the edge. Lots of graded cards do. I also include a picture of a 1952 Topps ungraded Mantle Counterfeit. Would I spend big money on this? Of course not. I was told to buy only a graded Mantle rookie. The president used the Rolex example. Crooks sell counterfeit Rolex watches. Does Rolex Co. tell you to only buy a graded Rolex. Get my point. I would never buy a Rolex from someone I did not know. Because I trusted the reputation of PSA, I purchased a graded Mantle from someone I did not know. If I would have gotten any kind of warning when calling PSA I would not have made the purchase. All I needed to hear was "We had problems with people tampering with the cases." This scam is much bigger than you may think. You would think that asking about stolen cards would raise a red flag. Unfortunately for me, It did not. My biggest problem is that I needed PSA to act in a professional manner when the average collector calls and is reaching out for help. I have a friend who was looking to buy a similar card on Craigslist. He did not call PSA. He called a National PSA Dealer. Did the Dealer say "MAKE SURE THE SERIAL NUMBERS MATCH". No. The dealer requested a picture of the card and warned my friend not to make the deal. I also have found out that these fake cards have been listed on Craigslist going back to 2005. Are you kidding me? In closing, I feel it is my job to warn others about the scam. We are not all PSA dealers and handle Mickey Mantle Rookies on a daily basis. We put our trust in the professionals. Not anymore.


  1. FranklinX's Avatar
    Wow, kinda interested in this story. Makes me wonder a few things. I guess the case that had the Mantle card that you bought didnt look tampered with. Like no cracks that look like thay were embeded in the plastic, caused by pressure, not usually a drop or such. So I am wondering if a person can buy PSA cases and embed cards and print out the easy PSA tag? I some how doubt PSA would sell their cases though. So could these scammmers be buying the cases from shady characters that works at PSA? Or could the scammers be manufacturing cases them selves somehow? I do think this---> Most people that would have a Mantle rookie card wouldnt pick PSA to grade it. They would prolly choose Becket for such an expensive card. So that would have made me scratch my head a bit if approached to buy such a card. Also if put in any case from any of the grading companies I would be surprised to see any scuffs or scrapes at all on the cases. Again , when owning such a great card, it gets handled with great care, even the case. Bottom line i guess if you are going to fork out a ton of dough for a card like that, buy it only from someone you trust. If not , hold the card with a maybe a small deposit. Then send the card to Beckett, and have them crack the case, and tell you if its authentic or not... This is what i would do dealing Mantle/ Jordan etc.

  2. mckinneyj's Avatar
    > Most people that would have a Mantle rookie card wouldnt pick PSA to grade it. They would prolly choose Becket for such an expensive card.

    Not so. Beckett for modern perhaps, but, PSA for post-war vintage as those so graded command the best prices.

    Could be that the plastic shells are being manufactured by counterfeiters. More commonly slabs are carefully pried open and re-used.

    Cracks on the rim of a slab would be an obvious clue to look as an indication that a card had been replaced in a PSA slab. One should also be aware of a "frosting" on the rims. When the slabs are pried apart they frost or whiten considerably. Also, examine the paper flip that is inside and compare it to a known good sample. Are the letters lined up vertically where they should be? is the font the same? Etc... you may want to use google and search for "youtube crach psa holder" and watch a few of the results.
  3. Mrdevintage's Avatar
    All This is great information on what to look for. You are forgetting that I did ask for help when I called PSA before the purchase. You don't look for problems if you don't know they exist. The PSA Rep told me to check the serial numbers before making purchase. Its hard to believe thats what I got considering how big this scam is. What I needed to hear is "Be careful, we have had some problems with tampering of cases in the past". And I would not have made the deal. Thanks PSA. I trusted you.
  4. Mrdevintage's Avatar
    Its interesting that when you now call PSA and ask about buying expensive graded cards they give you all the warnings and and what to look for. When I called Decemeber 2011 they told me to make sure the serial numbers match up. When you look for the the card on the PSA site their should be a picture of the card. I would have noticed that the card was different than mine even know the serial numbers match. I would not have made the deal. I will sue PSA eventually. I'm waiting for the right lawyer. I have enough information to prove they screwed me. It will be cheaper for them to buy the cards. I will press until I get some results. There are so many of these cards out there. Only a few know about the scam. I'm getting heat from a few PSA dealers that are only protecting their . I could care less about them. We have a bigger problem on our hands. Do get me wrong. Some of the blame is mine. I did not know who I was buying from. But I did call PSA before the purchase. Thats my problem.

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