This section provides details on the darker side of Scout topical stamp collecting - fakes (fascimilies) and forgeries. The popularity of these topical stamps, combined with the rarity of some, have lead to attempts to forge overprints, cancels, or outright new printings.
|SOSSI has joined with the Philatelic Webmasters Organization (PWO) and the World Association for the Development of Philately (WADP) in the Web League Against Illegal Stamps (WLAIS). Our purpose is to provide Scout topical collectors the means to make an informed decision on stamp purchases.|
All the major catalog publishers - Gibbons, Michel, Minkus, Scott, etc. - deliberately alter the
illustrations of overprints to deter forgers from using them as sources. This practice is clearly
explained in either the front or endnotes of the catalogs, but this has not stopped "copycat"
forgeries. Either forgers are unaware that catalog illustrations of overprints are altered
and use them as if they are accurate depictions, or collectors are similarly unaware. When
collectors encounter forged overprints which compare favorably with altered catalog illustrations,
they can mistakenly conclude the forgeries to be genuine.
If you desire to buy better Scouts on Stamps material through auctions, by mail, or on the internet, and are not sufficiently knowledgeable about the material to be able to recognize forgeries or facsimilies, bid only if the material is accompanied by a clear certificate from a recognized expert. An honest seller should permit you to buy "on extension for expertization" with full return privileges should the material not prove to be genuine. "Caveat emptor!" Articles will be added from the "Fakes and Forgeries in Scout Philately" series by Sheldon S. Levy.