Promptly acting on a tip from a concerned collector, the Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation’s (www.ACEFonline.org) Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force (ACTF) has notified law enforcement agencies and online shopping platform Amazon.com about a seller who is in apparent violation of federal laws involving reproductions of rare coins.
The seller using the name SeTing offered nine reproductions of coins and fantasy dates, but none of the accompanying coin images indicated any of the items were properly marked "COPY" as mandated by the Hobby Protection Act.
The offered items included replicas of a 1794 Flowing Hair dollar, an 1804 Draped Bust dollar and a 1915 Indian Head Quarter Eagle ($5). There was also a fantasy piece resembling a Trade Dollar but with the date 1791 and a Carson City mint mark that was identified by the seller as "Old Original Morgan Dollar." Genuine U.S. Trade Dollars were struck from 1873 to 1885 and Morgan silver dollars were produced between 1878 and 1921.
Prices for the "coins" ranged from $2.99 to $3.29 plus an additional $3.98 shipping.
A hobbyist who saw the online listings sent a complaint about the seller to members of the American Numismatic Association Board of Governors, some former ANA officers, the United States Mint and to several numismatic publications and numismatic information websites. ANA Past President Gary Adkins forwarded the email complaint to former Texas Police Chief Doug Davis, ACEF Director of Anti-Counterfeiting.
"The timely ‘heads up’ tip from the concerned collector is greatly appreciated. These six items are in apparent violation of both the Hobby Protection Act and Title 18 of the U.S. Code involving counterfeiting and forgery of United States coins. The task force has reported the information to the appropriate federal agencies and Amazon," said Davis.
"ACTF currently monitors over 200 websites and social media platforms selling counterfeit coins and precious metals across the country and around the world. Intelligence information is forwarded to the Secret Service and Treasury Department Office of the Inspector General. ACTF also assists all levels of law enforcement in counterfeit case development for prosecution," he explained.
"The Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation is aggressively seeking legislation on the state level to provide local law enforcement officers with statutes seeking criminal penalties for the possession, manufacture and distribution of counterfeit coins and precious metals," said ACEF Executive Director Robert Brueggeman. "However, to address these problems requires the support of the numismatic community. The Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation is a 501(c) (3) non-profit corporation that operates solely upon donations."
Monetary contributions can be made online at www.acefonline.org/donate or by check mailed to ACEF, 28441 Rancho California Rd., Ste. 106, Temecula, CA 92590. For additional information about donating, contact ACEF Executive Director Brueggeman at info@ACEFonline.org.