1.0 There are fake Magic cards???
1.1 Why in god's name would anyone make fake cards?
- YES! In fact there are quite a lot of them. I have no official statistics or anything, but this web page is a result of me seeing one too many.
1.2 What is an altered card?
- Many people make them just to play with when they don't own the real things (or enough of them). These are called proxies and usually aren't even close to the real thing. They are usually cheap inkjet printouts or color copies pasted on to another card.
However, Magic is a very profitable and lucrative market, and some people create very convincing counterfeit and altered cards as a way to scam money or other cards out of people. This FAQ will focus on how to spot these cards.
2.0 Am I in danger of being scammed?
- Altered cards are real cards. They have just been modified to either hide their true condition or make a card appear to be an earlier print than it really is.
Later in the FAQ are some examples of altered cards. I do not consider cleaning the gunk off a card or flattening a bent card as altering it. What I'm talking about here is modifying a card by adding something that wasn't there before.
2.1 When/Where should I be the most cautious?
- Sure. We all are. Although there are a lot of things that increase the risk such as where you live, where you play, where you buy/trade cards and what cards you usually deal in.
2.2 I was ripped! What do I do???
- Most counterfeits are found in the cities and/or on college campuses. If you are near any sort of printing school or business be
especially cautious. If Magic is very popular in your town, it is more likely counterfeit cards will show up. Most frequently these cards will turn up at tournaments or conventions, and sometimes at other large trade gatherings
that are open to the public. It is less likely to find one on the shelf at the local store or from a large
mail order company since they should know of the danger and inspect all their cards closely.
- There's lots of things you can do, but this goes a little beyond the scope
of this FAQ. If you received the card(s) in a deal
that happened through the mail, I would recommend
the National Fraud Information Center for
info on what steps you can take towards resolving the situation. Their
Online Incident Report Form
may prove useful, but I highly suggest reading through all the info on the page
before jumping straight to the form.