scammers,forgers and con artists in ontario

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    Chuck Biscuits
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    scammers,forgers and con artists in ontario

    Post by Chuck Biscuits on Tue Feb 07, 2017 2:56 am

    Hello everyone
    this could be a touchy subject and im not sure if this is something that has been discussed at all being new to this forum but not exactly new to the hobby..in more recent years i have educated myself by means of working with museums and handling genuine items as well as amassing as much research material as possible..this has helped me make informed decisions on what to buy,how much to pay and generally what the particular item should look like..ive haunted auctions,gun shows and military shows over the years and have made some good contacts and met some decent people...however i have discovered some not so honest and not so decent scam artists that have gotten me and many others.some are good at what they do and have been at it for a long time..i see their bogus crafted items change hands and often times see pieces that i recognize on a vendors table only to end up on another vendors table years later.Nothing can really be done about the stuff that is out there and as long as it sells the people that craft this stuff will continue to do so..im not talking the usual nazi stuff either,im talking canadian items from both wars..i dont know if it is illegal but some of them have been caught and banned from certain shows..but not from all shows..i dont want to see anyone falling victim to these bad apples..i know of a couple of people to stay far far away from but i dont know if there is any forum rule that prohibits me from letting those who should know be made aware of who these people are..one thing that i am sure about is that they are not members of this forum..i understand "buyer beware" but i believe info like this would be a good asset for all members,especially for those newer to the hobby..i take what i hear with a grain of salt until i see the proof in front of me,which in the cases im speaking of,i have..my reason for bringing all this up is because one of these people is at it again,scammed a friend of a friend just recently...i will keep the names and first hand examples to myself until advised otherwise.

    Chuck
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    edstorey
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    Calling Out Individuals

    Post by edstorey on Tue Feb 07, 2017 7:19 am

    Unless you want a lawsuit, you would be wise to keep any names to yourself. I also suspect the forum rules don't allow you to call out names. You can post photos of the items that you are displeased with and discuss the problems that you have observed.
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    Tankermike
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    Scammers

    Post by Tankermike on Tue Feb 07, 2017 4:27 pm

    It is too bad these people can not be identified, my suggestion is to continue your networking and talk to as many collectors, sellers, dealers as possible. I have found that way you will be quietly advised of who to trust and who to stay away from.

    Mike

    Chuck Biscuits
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    lawsuits,positive I.Ds and things to look out for

    Post by Chuck Biscuits on Fri Feb 10, 2017 1:09 am

    Ed,youre right,nobody wants a lawsuit..im one of the lucky ones actually..i only went to his house once to buy a couple small pieces of ww1 leather equipment,and 2 other times for observation..since then ive donated those 2 pieces to a local legion to go with the display they already have..i figured that way the odds of them going back on the collectors market will be less..so unfortunately i cant show pics but i can give a good description of what to look out for which i will get into.

    Mike,fortunately all the older vendors and collectors know these clowns all too well..when the scammers do show up at certain shows they are always segregated to a certain area,usually put side by side..its almost comical now that i know about them..and you can almost sense that quiet uncomfortable feeling from the other vendors at the venue..i was warned after the fact and told all sorts of stories about these guys..one of them got me pretty good and the other guy that makes fakes,well..i didnt confront him about it...instead i went back to his place to have a better look at his crafts..my girlfriend and myself went back there twice actually.

    Now lets get into some details;
    subject#1-a confidence trickster-dealt with this guy for years,he had a bad rep and i did hear stories but he was always ok with me...until one day...so he claimed to have a line on a collector who had dewats up for trade..trade only,no sales...i heard he had a vickers,which i wanted...but the only thing he would trade it for was second war canadian B.D...since id been dealing with this "go between" for years i didnt think anything much about handing him over a dozen or so of my best so the guy with the vickers could pick the ones he wanted...so i drop them off..a month goes by and no word..then about 2 months later the trickster tells me the guy with the dewats is going thru them to pick his favorites and he would know within the week and get the guy to drop the vickers off at his house..that week went by..nothing back..left messages over a month,still nothing back...now im getting worried and mildly pissed off...so i drive the 3 hours to his house..and hes not there...lingered around the area the better part of the day..he shows up at dark at his house..i pull in behind him..ask for my tunics..he says he doesnt have them..says he got me a ppsh41 from the guy because he wouldnt give the vickers up...offers me "credit" towards the rest of the tunics of mine that he obviously sold...turns out a couple months later i find out that i actually know the guy who the scammer sold the vickers to..by using my tunics to get it....partly my fault for letting my guard down i guess..but none the less a dishonest pile of feces that man is...money is the route of all evil.

    And now the forger:a husband and wife elderly combo,this is the guy i had to revisit to see his wares..he will take unmarked leather equipment and stamp them,he will age them too..what date and what maker do you prefer?..i recommend his home made hugh carson stamp,he did a good job on that one..if you find pieces where the stampings are questionable they may be his..look for a C/broad arrow stamp that is tall and skinny..this guy literally makes his own stamps and punches for both imprint on steel and ink on material..some are better copies then others..he has been known to dismantle a mothey first war tunic for the pattern..he got a roll of time period olive drab wool from a place called lens mill store in kitchener many years ago..his wife has an old singer machine with the foot pedal and all sorts of wooden spools of old thread...so the stiching is staggered and uneven,thread dont glow under a black light either...he sells out of his garage,which is divided into 2..part of his workshop is in the second half of the garage..i saw it..he had a phone call while i was there..i peaked into the other side of the garage thru the door..i saw the remaining roll of wool that i was told about sitting on a shelf along with a dissected tunic,the spools of thread,the singer machine,some brodie helmets with added flash in the process of drying and a wack of what looked to be really old paint cans,likely the old lead based stuff..he walked back in the room from using the phone just as i walked out..he looked mad and told me that room is off limits and theres nothing in there for me! then he closed the door to that area rather quickly..i said back "ya it looks pretty empty in there,sorry"..thats what i saw!!...our 3rd and last time there..he had a tunic and 3 battalion marked brodies for sale (surprise,surprise)...my girlfriend asked to use his washroom,she was directed downstairs...on the way home she had told me about the workbench in the basement..with hand made stamps and punches of various sizes of letters and numbers,and the inkwell and fountain pens,even a calligraphy chart pinned to the wall in front of the bench...and a pile of leather field equipment..thats what she saw!!..funny how pretty much all his pieces in the garage area including the british stuff had that funny C/broad arrow mark and all privately named and numbered in ink..even equipment made in birmingham had the weird stamp on it,in several spots on the same piece of equipment,just incase you might have missed it the first time:hmmm: ....anyways..hes known around the south western/toronto area caus hes been at it for a while..but just a warning to all to really know what youre buying and if it looks like fish and smells like fish... its probably fish

    Chuck
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    barriefield-brian
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    Re: scammers,forgers and con artists in ontario

    Post by barriefield-brian on Fri Feb 10, 2017 4:21 pm

    I did a trade with a fellow from Edmonton who is not a forum member. Our first trade went o.k. then on the second I did not receive my item. Strung me along for quite a while then nothing. No reply to e-mails and does not answer the phone or reply to messages. Not much you can do about it other than warn others when you can. Cheers Brian
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    ypres
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    Re: scammers,forgers and con artists in ontario

    Post by ypres on Sat Feb 11, 2017 1:27 pm

    Chuck,

    There really is no way to stop this. If someone has the chance to make some money they will. Keep reading and looking at other collections. Buy books and talk with fellow collectors. When you buy make sure there is a really good return policy.

    This issue is not only one for the original forger, but is one for all collectors. Even the most reputable and honest dealers make mistakes. A few years ago, I noticed a 1950's coat on an auction site. The dealer who listed it was very honest and well known in the collecting community. It was RFC marked to the interior. I tried to intervene, but was told the tunic was bought directly from the family. I'm sure it was, and I am certain the dealer believed it was 100% legit. It was sold and all parties are probably happy, even the buyer with a 1950's coat he thinks is WWI.

    In another situation, a longtime collector was selling items off after he was diagnosed with an illness. He had an 1899 Oliver yoke I was looking at. He told me he personally had it made for the 1967 centennial celebration and was worn with some made up uniforms for an event. This items was bought by another collector who has also passed away and it was sold again to an advanced collector with a quality collection. It has now become "Real and 100% original" since the original story had been lost by all those with an interest in the item. I tried to relay the story but was rebuffed because the present owner felt I was competition and was talking the item down so he would leave it and I would scoop it. It is now in a very reputable collection and if anyone else saw it they would think it is 100% original. Imagine the resale value when the listing says "From the collection of ..........." . I think a higher value than "Made for the 1967 centennial". If you think about it, the next buyer won't care because he won't know ..... and the centennial item has now become WWI.

    Education is the key here. The only way to stop fakes being sold is to stop the buyers since the forgers won't stop until there is no more profit left for them. If we won't buy they can't sell. Next time you find a repro in your collection .... destroy it instead of donating it. In a 100 years when that legion branch closes some unwary collector will pay top dollar for the "Original" repro; especially with the provenance " Found in the local Legion Branch".

    Just a thought ...... Ypres
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    Tankermike
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    Re: scammers,forgers and con artists in ontario

    Post by Tankermike on Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:55 am

    It appears an auction house in Ontario is selling off some stamps that would could be used to fake markings on webbing and leather and maybe even metal. There are rubber stamps with the C Arrrow, I highly doubt these are original stamps from the war department. There is a C arrow punch stamp as well, could be used for leather or even metal. The kicker is the German stamps, the SS head is well known to be used on German currency to embellish the notes.

    The Enfield covers in the same auction have C Arrow stamps that the ink does not match the rest of the stampings.

    Lot 1158
    Lot 1164
    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

    Chuck Biscuits
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    scammers,forgers and con artists in ontario

    Post by Chuck Biscuits on Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:01 pm

    Good eye Mike and thanks for posting that link,
    I had a look at this site and would encourage all other forum members to do the same..notice the stamp with the elongated C/broad arrow..this is similar to the stamp that one of these forgers uses that i have seen, except the one ive seen has a narrower script..be on the lookout for that..i agree that these stamps listed dont seem like they would be originals for use in the war department..it is entirely possible that they may have belonged to the person(s) in question considering the scammers age and the fact that he is located in this particular area,but i suppose where theres one theres usually more..its too bad items like these usually fall into the wrong hands..current bid is at $125 (+15%tax=15% buyers premium)...if i had the money to blow, id buy them and put them in my fireplace where they belong before the market gets flooded yet again with more fakes.
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    Tankermike
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    Re: scammers,forgers and con artists in ontario

    Post by Tankermike on Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:55 pm

    If we all pitch in $20 we can rid the universe of this scourge, I'll commit to $20.

    Chuck Biscuits
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    Re: scammers,forgers and con artists in ontario

    Post by Chuck Biscuits on Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:09 pm

    so will i..ive spent more than $20 on stupider things..to me that wouldnt be wasting money by any means...so far we have $40 in the pool...anybody else wanna throw in??...consider it like an insurance premium to stop perspective cons in their tracks and its a worthy cause for the collecting community,money well invested

    Chuck Biscuits
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    scammers,forgers and con artists in ontario

    Post by Chuck Biscuits on Sat Feb 25, 2017 1:06 am

    Current bid of $175 with less than 8hrs to go ladies and gentlemen

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