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Fake fat and fake creamer you can handle. Spam or fake e-mail you delete. But fake coins...forget it.
If you're new to the collectible coin, or even if you've been numismatically inclined for years, you can be taken in by counterfeit or "puffed" coins. "Puffing" in real estate means exaggerating a property's benefits. In the world of US coins and foreign coins, dishonest dealers can go beyond hype. For example, United States coin counterfeiters can alter the date of a 1946 Mercury Dime collectible coin to read 1916, a more valuable year.
How can you avoid being scammed by collectible coin counterfeiters? Check with a dealer or appraiser you trust. Remember that although people are wary of buying on the Internet, fraud is just as likely when that huckster smiles at you face to face.
Know as much as possible about the United States coin you're collecting so you'll be able to tell when something is "off." But in general. Trust coins certified by a major authentication and grading service such as the Independent Coin Grading Company.
After all, while fake fat and fake creamer may or may not help you feel and look better, you don't want to be saddled with fake world or US coins.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|