Thursday, August 3, 2017

Sellers Selling Fake Autographs Using A Trusted Service

Seeing things like this makes me sad. When Steve Irwin passed away in 2006 he had only one official autograph and that was in the 2002 Dart the Crocodile Hunter release. I had opened a box in 2002 and was fortunate enough to pull relics of both Steve and Terri but their autographs alluded me and now if you find one of his 2002 Dart autographs they are usually in the $1000 range and higher so I have scratched owning one of those off my list but from time to time I still like to look.

This signature is currently up for a BIN of $599.99 and is a perfect example of how authentication services are allowing unscrupulous people to take advantage of specific services by giving an appearance of being real. I am not putting the blame on any specific person, I am not claiming the seller is complicit in any attempt to scam or cheat. This may have been graded long before this item was even in the seller's hands. 
This is not Steve Irwin’s autograph, I have been watching his signatures since at least 2002 and I can 100% guarantee that this is not the Crocodile Hunter’s signature. I don’t know if there is another person named Steve Irwin who is signing pieces of paper and I am just assuming this is supposed to be he Steve Irwin we all know and love. No matter what the case is, at some point someone used PSA/DNA to grade the autograph only, not to authenticate it, and now someone is selling it using the actual term “authentic”.

Most people looking for Steve Irwin’s autograph will know it is not real, there will be people who also look at the flip and see that is says “Auto Grade Only” but someone along the line is going to jump at the price, they are going to see the PSA/DNA flip and the seller using the word authenticated and think it was just him writing out his name instead of signing and buy a fake.

For comparisons, here are authentic Steve Irwin autographs including one where he did print his name so you can see the difference.

A PSA/DNA with an actual authentication tag. The Irwin’s were quite big on sending signed post cards or photos to people who made donations to the Australian Zoo as a thank you so I am confident this is real.

A JSA authenticated 8x10, the inscription was written by Terri but still they both signed the photo.
A 2002 Dart Crocodile Hunter autograph card, this one is real no question
Here is a clip where he signed his name and then printed his first name. Now I cannot state with certainty that this is his autograph but it does appear to be correct in appearance.  

I know this isn't like a situation where someone is just cranking out Carrie Fisher autographs and selling them for a couple hundred a piece but it does bother me that someone worked the system to confuse and take advantage of another person. 


  1. As an autograph collector, this...

    1. Freaks me out. I wonder if anyone has tampered with any of my holders.

    2. Makes me curious. The case looks to be in good condition. Maybe it's an error by the authenticator?

    3. Annoys me. Dishonest people who try to take advantage of others for personal gain totally suck.

    1. I believe it is a real case but it was sent in just to be graded, not authenticated. So the seller, or someone down the line in the past, is hoping that a buyer is assuming it is authentic because it was encased by PSA.

      I find it pretty crappy that PSA will grade a signature without verifying it is real. Can someone send in a Babe Ruth autograph on a 2017 card for a grade and PSA will grade it without question?

    2. Oh man... never even thought of that. That's really shady.