The Queen world is full of fraudsters and fakes. Be careful!
Blacklists are always controversial. One collector may have a good experience while another one
may feel that he has been cheated. Over the 25+ years of collecting I've come
across many fakes and many fraudsters and there's no way how to list
all of them (and also I'm getting older and I have no intentions to be dragged into neverending battles and discussions). But this way I would at least like to warn potential buyers of three
types of fakes of Queen memorabilia.
Fake Queen ticket stubs - David Cartars, Giorgio Bacci / Marco B.
I have come across two major fraudsters who have been producing
fakes of early Queen or Smile tickets (mainly from the 1969-1974 period).
Unfortunately many experienced collectors have been cheated (me included),
luckily one of these two fraudsters was afraid of consequences and issued a refund.
The two most active fraudsters are Giorgio Bacci aka Marco B. (aka seller newyork-nyc on ebay) from New York/Seattle
and David Cartars from the UK. Both of them specialize in
early (= expensive) Queen memorabilia. The first fraudster was
selling mostly Smile memorabilia on ebay, David Cartars was selling
mostly 1973-1974 Queen tickets to Queen collectors. In both cases
I had their ticket stubs in my hands, I scanned them in high resolution
and consulted the images with experts on printing. It was more than obvious that
the tickets were printed recently. The first fraudster refunded the buyers
and doesn't seem to be active anymore. David Cartars has refused his guilt
and sadly his tickets still are in collections of some experienced collectors.
Samples of fakes by Giorgio Bacci aka Marco B.
Samples of fakes by David Cartars
Fake Queen flyers - David Cartars
These are also work of David Cartars from the UK, possibly the most active fraudster of early Queen memorabilia at the moment.
Again, I had these flyers in my own hands, took high resolutions scans of them and was able to recognize the work of a modern inkjet printer. Avoid!
The most controversial thing ever - because technically you can't PROVE
that something is genuine or something is fake. However, luckily
most of the fakes are so poor and obvious - and also with the help
of the internet and thousands and thousands of images quite a few
experienced collectors (me included) are able to tell what is or isn't real.
99% of autographs on ebay are fake but most of them are luckily quite
bad. But in some cases
everything seems to be fine and you have no suspicion at first...
Fake autographs from the official fan club (1983-1991)
Recent events have forced me to remind you something important. Roughly between years 1983 and 1991
the Queen fan club was sending fake signed items to fans (with the obvious knowledge of the band). Thousands
of people have sent in items asking for Queen autographs and ALL of them have received their item
with ugly (truly horrible looking) fake autographs. This "service" was free and every major band does that
so that is NOT an issue. The problem is that the owners are now selling these items as genuine,
beginners among buyers are paying thousands for this crap and experts who have discovered this scam
more than two decades ago are being blacklisted, blocked and trashtalked by the fan club representatives, followers or members.
If you have two eyes and an IQ higher than 70 please look at the sample photos below and judge for yourself. I'm already sick of all the lies.
Hint: look at Brian's beautiful "B", John's symmetrical "ohn" or Freddie's final "y" or his typical "dd".
First photo - beautiful genuine signatures from mid 80's (the Complete Works box set) Second photo - horrible fan club fakes written by a female sent out mainly in mid 80's Third photo - second (slightly better) version of fan club fakes sent out in 1989-1991
Biggest dealer of fake autographs - RareAndSigned.com
I have been following this company for two decades, they were very active on eBay before they launched their own site.
They have sold literally thousands of fakes of Queen autographs and made millions of dollars in this dirty business. 99% of their goods is fake and sometimes they throw
in one or two (extremely overpriced) genuine items to make the whole content look legitimate.
The owner (Jason Cullen) got quite experienced and the quality of the fakes is relatively high - they focus
mainly on Brian's autographs.
Queen "collectors"/fraudsters working together - Riccardo D'arrigo from Genova & friends
Two or three years ago we came across fakes of the famous Complete Works
autographs. They were distributed by an Italian collector
Riccardo D'arrigo (known as riccardo4209 on ebay).
He is even running his own Queen group on Facebook where he tried
to sell his fakes.
When we pointed out that they were obvious fakes he immediately blocked
us - and his friends Rick, Heinz-Peter (+ their fake FB aliases)
supported him immediately by showing some poor ebay fakes claiming they got them personally (trying to "prove" that an obvious fake is in fact real).
Normally I would ignore such people but in this case it was obvious that they had some kind of alliance and various FB profiles immediately supported the seller
whenever somebody marked his Complete Works as fake. So be careful whenever
you come across signed Complete Works, this collector is quite an experienced forger.
This first attempt looks bad but you can see that his Innuendo autographs are already better.
Thieves - Paul Dodds and Sarah Murray (smurray85 on ebay) from Kelso, Scotland
This couple sold me several clearly genuine autographed items for 2000+ GBP but never sent anything.
Many more buyers were involved in this scam, their ebay account has been suspended and police investigation followed.
Luckily I managed to get my money back relatively quickly.