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News Archives

October 27, 2004

Fakes and Forgeries: Dormant "Hialeah forger" seller ID unlimitedstamps has been suspended by eBay. Details here.

October 15, 2004

Scams: Buyers are still being caught by sellers who use scans and descriptions from other auctions to sell material they don't possess. Be more alert for the warning signs by reading about three image stealing scams which were reported to SCADS in the last month.

August 28, 2004

eBay News: An eBay workshop on the Stamps Community Watch (SCW) program held on August 23 provides answers to common questions about the program in spite of being poorly attended.

August 13, 2004

Alterations: Saratoga ring ID 12trees1947 is suspended from eBay.

August 12, 2004

Scams: David Holt has moved to Canada and is now using the alias Maksim Obuhov to perpetrate his rare book scams.

August 11, 2004

eBay News: eBay and APS are expanding their review committees to vet questionable non-US listings. Collectors are now seeing action being taken.

August 6, 2004

Alterations: "New" Saratoga ring ID 12trees1947 is currently buying US stamps on eBay.

July 24, 2004

eBay News: eBay has added a new checklist for sellers when listing, as part of its efforts to educate sellers and reduce the number of questionable listings reported. Details here.

July 19, 2004

Fakes and Forgeries: New "Hialeah forgery" seller princesstamps has not relisted, and appears to have gone to ground. New U.K.-based seller spacelady00 is now listing the modern forgeries of reseller mailbyrail. Details here.

July 18, 2004

eBay News: eBay and APS, by working together, have managed to uncover and eliminate major sellers of fraudulent stamps. In the year since July 2003, the partnership has resulted in 18 suspensions from eBay. Details here.

July 11, 2004

eBay News: Now available - a set of Guidelines for buying stamps on eBay, prepared by StampsChat+ and eBay Stamps chat board members.

July 10, 2004

eBay News: The old StampChat board has been removed.

June 16, 2004

Fakes and Forgeries: The new eBay seller princesstamps has apparently bought the forgery business of Florida seller atdinvest. This ID has listed modern fake imperforate blocks, and intends to print the word "Repro" on the reverse of each stamp sold.

June 10, 2004

Alterations: Saratoga Ring selling ID wackeywood (formerly the notorious schuylerac then later crustaceans) has been suspended from eBay, and removed from the site's database.

June 5, 2004

Scams: Article published by Chicago Tribune on David Holt, who perpetrated an image stealing scam in the stamps community early last year.

The reporter would like to contact anyone who may have been at the Biloxi stamp fair in 2003, in order to show them photos of Holt. Please contact SCADS or the Tribune if you are able to help him out.

May 12, 2004

Alterations: Saratoga Ring buying ID short369 (formerly booksnbooks4u and before that stazy4) is suspended from eBay. That leaves "wackeywood" as the only Saratoga Ring member currently registered on eBay.

May 10, 2004

Fakes and Forgeries: New article on the Florida seller atdinvest, prepared by Richard Warren. It describes the extent of the forgery business, and gives a detailed explanation of how the forgeries were produced. See

May 7, 2004

Alterations: New Saratoga Ring ID short369 (formerly booksnbooks4u and before that stazy4) began purchasing stamps on eBay in March.

April 29, 2004

Fakes and Forgeries: The U.K.-based Hialeah forgery reseller lotus194 has been suspended from eBay shortly after eBay staff posted a warning to him on the category change thread.

April 21, 2004

Fakes and Forgeries: Florida seller atdinvest has been suspended from eBay yet again, just a week after relisting his forgery business for sale there. The asking price of US$11,999.99 failed to attract bidders, before the lot was pulled as part of the suspension process. This has not stopped the seller from offering his business on other auction sites.

April 2, 2004

Fakes and Forgeries: Florida forgery seller atdinvest listed his tools of trade in 3 separate eBay auctions, showing photos of over 80 CDs of data, perforating equipment, and hundreds of rubber cancels.

March 31, 2004

eBay News: The StampChat board is succeeded by the new StampChat+ board, which encourages discussion of fraudulent items offered in Internet auctions.

December 4, 2003

Alterations: The Saratoga Ring ID's tremor111 and 32gyt78 are now suspended, and no activities on internet auction sites have since been linked to the ring.

December 2, 2003

eBay News: APS "Selling Stamps on eBay" workshop on eBay provide some answers to collectors' questions on eBay's new stamp selling policy and the process of vetting reported auctions of questionable items by the SCW (Stamps Community Watch) group and the APS.

October 14, 2003

Fakes and Forgeries: Florida seller atdinvest is attempting to sell his forgery "business" on eBay. Among the paraphernalia offered are thousands of sheets and blocks, hundreds of handstamps, perforation equipment and over 80 CDs containing "data of proofs and documents". When the first listing did not sell at US$49,900, the price was raised to US$69,900. Both auctions completed with no bids.

October 7, 2003

Alterations: chickfrdstk, an infamous member of the Saratoga Ring, is suspended from eBay.

October 5, 2003

Alterations: chickfrdstk, an infamous member of the Saratoga Ring, is purchasing stamps on eBay again.

September 15, 2003

eBay News: eBay is working with the APS to reduce fraud on its site by tightening its policy on selling stamps, implementing a new APS code of ethics to be followed, and referring items regarded as questionable by its Stamps Community Watch (SCW) group (formerly the "Voices of eBay" committee) to the APS for further vetting.

June 6, 2003

eBay News: eBay is recruiting knowledgeable volunteers for a "Voices of eBay" committee which is to vet reported auctions of questionable items.

May 31, 2003

Alterations: eBay's investigations and the suspension of pcheltenham have prompted the Saratoga Ring to move their auctions to Yahoo, using the seller ID goldmedalauctions, a name similar to Gregory Stolow's previous mail order auction business "Gold Medal Mail Sales".

May 31, 2003

eBay News: The ever-tightening censorship of the eBay Stamp chat board prompted long-time fraud-fighting supporter Dave Frick to set up a new StampChat board where eBay auctions could be discussed in a friendly welcoming atmosphere without fear of posts being deleted.

May 10, 2003

Alterations: Two days after listing over 250 new auctions, Saratoga Ring seller pcheltenham was suspended from eBay on 9 May, a week after eBay Trust and Safety Vice President Rob Chesnut initiated investigations into the alteration activities of the Saratoga Ring.

May 2, 2003

eBay News: With more and more eBay Stamps chat board posts deleted by the "Moderation" team, SCADS member George Kopecky has taken the case against the Saratoga Ring to the top. eBay Trust and Safety Vice President Rob Chesnut affirms that he will investigate their activities.

March 23, 2003

Scams: "The Spawn of David George Holt", a summary of the aliases and scams perpetrated by David Holt in the last 3 years, is now available and will be updated as more information is passed to SCADS.

A man purporting to be Karl Fisher was reported to have attended the Biloxi, MS stamp show on March 1. Is he really David Holt ?

Oleg Cheboratev is the man who receives the money from all of David Holt's scams. His Curriculum Vitae shows a photo and list of achievements in the last few years. What is the connection between him and David Holt ?

March 15, 2003

Scams: Karl Fisher and Frederik Buwe have been determined to be aliases of convicted book felon David Holt. After his release for prison three years ago, Holt has been defrauding and attempting to defraud the bookselling community under a variety of different names, and has threatened two ABAA members. Holt has now turned his attention to the philatelic community......

March 8, 2003

Scams: Dealers and collectors around the world have been offered high value stamps and covers at substantially discounted prices by persons identifying themselves as Karl Fisher and Frederik Buwe of Switzerland, only to find that the scans have been stolen from various webpages.

March 3, 2003

Alterations: Imperforate U.S. plate proofs are the latest casualties in the ongoing saga of the Saratoga Ring. Reperforated proofs sold by pcheltenham are fetching high prices, and the Saratoga buyers continue to snap them up as fodder for alteration.

February 24, 2003

Fakes and Forgeries: Florida seller atdinvest keeps churning out his listings of modern imperforate sheets of forgeries, which appear to be made from an image of one stamp replicated to fill a sheet. The suggestion that falling prices for the sheets may have led to listings of bulk lots of 6 sheets was denied by the seller.

February 17, 2003

Alterations: The Saratoga Fakes article updated with the latest news on the Saratoga Ring.

February 8, 2003

In response to your feedback, we created the SCADS Supporter program, inviting you to assist our fight against philatelic fraud.  See the Show your support page to learn more about assisting as a Silver Circle supporter, or even becoming a member of the SCADS Gold Circle

December 18, 2002

Alterations: User ID crustaceans (formerly schuylerac) changes eBay selling ID to wackeywood.

November 8, 2002

Alterations: A new Saratoga seller ID to avoid: 32gyt78 is the new, thinly disguised pcheltenham. The current roster of the Saratoga ring's IDs. A look at some of 32gyt78's current auctions.

October 31, 2002

Alterations: ID changes - what new plans does schuylerac have, with the new ID of crustaceans? And stazy4 with the ID of booksnbooks4u! Watch for when the shades come off . . .

October 16, 2002

Alterations: New buying ID tremor111 discovered as part of the Saratoga group - active since mid-April!

October 10, 2002

MSNBC Publicizes Sales of Altered Stamps on eBay! pcheltenham, schuylerac, chickfrdstk, and stazy4 named in web story on conspiracy. "SCADS experts assembled damning dossier." For our coverage on the fraud, including a NEW full report on the scope of the fraud, legal issues, eBay features that have promoted it, etc., go here.

October 7, 2002

Misidentified stamps: Are these the most commonly misidentified U.S. stamps on eBay? These "late" Second Bureaus are easy to tell apart from their more valuable look-alikes - if you can count to 12.

October 7, 2002

Scams: mbaker7662 combines a stolen-scan stamp auction with shill bidding (NARUed October 9).

September 11, 2002

Scams: mabgsl's big con - The blow-off stage ( mabgsl NARUed, one month too late)

September 9, 2002

eBay News: Return of the 'Internet Cert'; Is Dave Cunningham the official eBay online stamp appraiser?

August 31, 2002

eBay News: Same-day NARU! eBay rolls out new fraud reporting mechanism

August 18, 2002

Scams: chenandcompany's innovation - brokerage without consent

August 16, 2002

eBay News: Richard Frajola's anti-fraud petition goes to eBay with 200 signatures

August 15, 2002

The Jim Lehrer News Hour airs Richard Doporto's interview about stamp fakes and eBay censorship. Richard is SCADS' Forensic Philatelic Investigator (FPI), and owns the eye-opening "Fakes Purchased on eBay" website. Listen to the audio transcript - 9:07 (Richard's interview starts about 5 minutes in).

August 13, 2002

Hialeah forgeries: atdinvest reinstated - re-lists modern forgeries