Links and the People Who Inspired MeTo Do This!

This is an ongoing experiment so it will be evolving over the next year depending on my schedule. It was inspired by several Ebay users/dealers and collectors who have e-mailed over the last few months and warned me about various unscrupulous sellers who make quite a cash flow selling altered common stamps as rarities. Basically modifying cheap stamps and selling them as "reference," which in polite company means a forgery or fake.

New Rev5.1 Design, November 2007

Buy the Sonic Imagery Labs Specialty Perforation & Grill Multi -Gauge

Download Instruction Sheet for the Sonic Imagery Labs Specialty Perforation & Grill Multi -Gauge

Download a MAIL ORDER form for the Sonic Imagery Labs Specialty Perforation & Grill Multi -Gauge

The Top of the Fakes Pages
Another Bogus Scott 519 - New November 2002
The Fake Scott 346 Private Perf - New October 2002
The Most Impressive Fake Scott 62B
The Secret Life of an Altered Scott 72
The Secret Life of a Chemically Altered Scott 78
The Secret Life of an Altered RW5 Duck Stamp
A Fake Scott #320 with Schermack Type III Perforations
Fake Scott #743a
Detecting a Flat Plate Press Vertical Coil, Fake Scott 441
Fake Reperfed 514a
Fake Reperfed 508c
Fake Reperfed 546
Fake Scott 143 w / Bogus Grill
Fake Scott 137 w / Same Bogus Grill as Fake 143
Fake Scott 139 w / Same Bogus Grill as Fake 137 and 143
Fake Scott 315 - Revised June 2002
Fake Reperfed Scott 519 - Revised June 2002

A Gallery of Bogus Stuff Part 1
A Gallery of Bogus Stuff Part 2
A Gallery of Bogus Stuff Part 3
A Gallery of Bogus Stuff Part 4
A Gallery of Bogus Stuff Part 5

Credits, Inspiration and Links of Interest
Bibliography of Research Material I Use for this Site
Download the Schermack Type III Go-NoGo Gauge

Jim Lehrer Newshour Interview on PBS, August 15th 2002
Watch my TV interview with Spencer Michels on the Lehrer Newshour concerning the good, bad and ugly on eBay. This was originally broadcast on August 15th, 2002 nation wide on PBS.

MSNBC Interview, October 9th 2002
Read my interview with MSNBC journalist Micheal Brunker. Titled the "Cautionary Tales of Two Auctions." This is part 2 of a 12 part news series concerning the perils, scams and shams concerning online auctions and the story of one of the biggest philatelic alteration rings on eBay. This ring still sells on eBay today and the staff of eBay is loathe to do anything about it.

The Real Nerdman and his son Ian.

This is me, Richard Doporto, the Sherlock Holmes of Baby Banknotes, the Dr. Watson of Washington / Franklin heads, the purchaser of fakes and frauds on eBay. Your Forensic Philatelic Investigator. That's my son, Ian Nicholas, on my lap here in the studio we call Sonic Imagery Labs, in the lower level of our house in Castro Valley, California. Ian and I spend many hours down here looking at stamps on the web or playing with the faders on the mixing console.

This page is to credit the people on the web who do what I do, and who have inspired me to keep doing these web pages to help weed out and expose those who commit philatelic fraud.

If you have a fake U.S. regular issue or commemorative made between 1847 and 1940 and want to expose it here, please contact me at:

Oh, by the way,
I am now a member of the
American Philatelic Society: 198776

I am also a member of the
United States Stamp Society
USSS BIA: 15037

And a member of the
United States Philatelic Classics Society.
USPCS RA #3701

I am also a member of SCADS (Stamp Collectors Against Dodgy Sellers). An international team of philatelic investigators who work together to correct misdescriptions, as well as expose misrepresentations and frauds committed by sellers on eBay.

The Good Guys' Websites and Useful Links
This is Steven's website and is full of useful stuff.
Stamp Collectors Against Dodgy Sellers (SCADS) is an international team of philatelic investigators who work together to correct misdescriptions, as well as expose misrepresentations and frauds committed by sellers on eBay.

Headquartered in Chicago (Illinois), with branch offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles (California) Portland (Oregon), and Portsmouth (New Hampshire), SCADS utilizes an Australian website to publish information on sellers who resist requests to correct repeated misdescriptions, as well as those involved in the more insidious "alteration" of classic US material.
This is Sheryll Oswald's site. Sheryll is the founder of SCADS. Her website is the best and most comprehensive study of the pitfalls of the internet and it's effects on the philatelic forgery phenomena today. I truly believe that if you snarf the web for stamps you better read this website from top to bottom! It will be the best education you will ever hope to get. It explains all the tricks and scams that unscrupulous sellers use to take your money. It also provides some tips that will help you to become a more discerning collector. Sheryll rocks my world.
A great article from 1999 starring unscrupulous sellers "schuylerac" and "chickfrdstk".
Oh my! More bad guys goin' down to the big house! And a former APS member too.
The following are excerpts from earlier Croton Newsletters about the U.S. Washington-Franklin coils and how forgers make fake coils from other similar issues.
A great series of articles written by Peter Torraca for HGitner Philatelists, Inc. Philatelic Hall of Shame. Explains reperfing and faked coils.
This article was posted on eBay, Dec 21st 2001 and is excellent food for thought. Thanks to Jon F. Rubel and his kind e-mail.

The Good Guys

Steven Ruecker, P.O. Box 1063, Hillsboro, OR 97123-1063 USA
Member: American Philatelic Society: 56227 (33 years)
Life Member: American Air Mail Society
American Philatelic Research Library
United States Philatelic Classics Society

Steven emailed me back in November 2001 and warned me that some items I had bid on were fakes. He also turned me on to some other sites as well as his own. We emailed a few times and chatted about how to warn others about frauds without getting kicked off eBay by violating the rule of "interfering with on-going auctions". Then Steven introduced me to Sheryll Oswald and the SCADS rollercoaster of fun started! I would like to thank Steven for his kind words of encouragement and inspiration.

More Good Guys

American Philatelic Society,
100 Oakwood Ave. P.O. Box 8000 State College, PA 16803
Phone: 814-237-3803
Fax: 814-237-6128
Contact the Staff

More Good Guys

The eBay Stamp Chat Board
I have noticed that the scam sellers, forgers and alterators rarely contribute to the chat forums on eBay. They do however respond to angry e-mails and start to notice when the monthly gross sales start to decline. A good way to get a feel for the sellers of fakes, forgeries and alterations is to read the eBay Stamps chat board. The experts who frequent these boards also do their best to answer any novice or technical questions you may have. And you will, every once in a while, read about or catch word of a scam happening in real time. eBay censors the chats, so at times, a sort of coded tongue in cheek language is spoken there. Pay close attention to these messages.

UPDATE July 25th 2002. eBay has decided to completely ignore the issue of philatelic fraud and education in an archived discussion threaded format. The discussion board for stamp collectors was completely removed this afternoon. This has now opened the door for fakers and alterers to prey upon unsuspecting buyers. The scrolling chat board is still alive and well so be sure to have a visit and ask for advice.

Knowledge continues to be the collector's best ally. It is also what has separated the true collector from the casual accumulator.
Don't get burned!

Get real... Get smart.... Get educated.
Knowledge is Power.

Updated 12/15/2009 at 1:50pm. Because the internet never sleeps.
Thanks for visiting this site. I hope you learn something new as I am having fun doing this and stirring up the "doodoo" so to speak. You, the visitor, have my permission to copy my pages and images for the purpose of showing others how to look for fakes and forgeries. You also have my permission to link to my pages and to share the link paths to others. I only ask in return for you to send me an e-mail if I have made a mistake or have done some other technical blunder that in my rush to put these pages up would cause the visitor confusion. Please also visit my other website and support the live music arts.