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For broadcast on CBS Radio Network stations September 6-7, 2003:

Scammers beware

The Stamp Collecting Report, I'm Lloyd de Vries.

Take a walk through the stamps being offered on eBay, and, if you know stamps, you'll 
see a number of fakes, frauds and forgeries. The problem is if you DON'T know stamps, 
you might fall for some of these cons -- stamps that have been altered to make them 
resemble their more valuable cousins or even stamps so rare the seller couldn't possibly 
be offering the real thing.

To clean up some of the mess, eBay is now working with the national stamp collecting 
organization, the American Philatelic Society, to spot-check some of these questionable 

Here's how it works: A possible scam comes to the attention of eBay, which then refers 
it to a volunteer "watch committee," and the committee may then send it on to the A-P-S. 
If the society's experts know or suspect there's something wrong, the A-P-S will suggest 
the seller remove the lot. If that doesn't happen, eBay may take action.

If the program works, look for something similar in other collectible areas on eBay.

And that's stamp collecting this week. 

I'm Lloyd de Vries, CBS News. 

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