US Stamps

Tagged counterfeits; label nods to potential source of fake Flag coil

Jul 18, 2022, 12 PM
A “Made in China” sticker was affixed to the packaging of a counterfeit coil roll of the 2017 Flag stamp (Scott 5158). That label even includes the Scott catalog number on it.

Philatelic Foreword by Jay Bigalke

Unfortunately the subject of counterfeit United States stamps keeps coming up, and it feels like the problem is getting worse, not better. We haven’t reported on every new development, but a couple of interesting things have recently turned up.

The first is that the counterfeiters have apparently figured out how to add phosphor tagging to their counterfeits. It isn’t exactly the same as on the genuine stamps, but it looks pretty convincing.

So far, tagged fakes have been reported for the 2016 Flowers from the Garden forever booklet pane stamps (Scott 5237-5240), 2022 Mountain Flora booklet pane stamps (5676-5679) and 2022 African Daisy global forever stamp (5680). Additionally, all three of the latest Lunar New Year series stamps for the rat (5428), ox (5556) and tiger (5662) have been reported with tagging.

A collector discovered a new development related to the packaging of a counterfeit coil that might have outed the country of origin for at least one of the fakes.

The words “Made in China” in English appear on a sticker affixed to shrink-wrap surrounding a hard plastic cup with a lid containing the coil roll of counterfeits.

What is a little eerie, though, is the Scott catalog number reference of “5158” at the bottom of the sticker along with the year of issue for that 2017 Flag forever stamp.

While counterfeit stamps are out there, collectors can still be vigilant when purchasing forever stamps. If you’re buying them from a source at a huge discount, the adage “if it’s too good to be true” comes to mind.

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