ACEF Concerns Included in Federal Government’s Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting & Piracy

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Doug Davis
Doug Davis

The sale of counterfeit U.S. coins and precious metals on e-commerce platforms and third-party marketplaces continues to escalate and the number of victims proves to be a highly lucrative and profitable business for counterfeiters.

"Unfortunately, victims across the country are falling prey to the unscrupulous marketing tactics, which result in financial losses," said Doug Davis, Director of Anti-Counterfeiting for the Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation. "For counterfeiters, production costs are low, millions of potential customers are online, a variety of payment options, and listing goods on well-known platforms such as Facebook and Amazon provide an air of legitimacy."

Several annual reports by federal agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security report on "Combating Trafficking in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods", address a number of pirated goods, but none identify or mention the increase in counterfeit coins and precious metals entering the U.S. marketplace.

On February 22, 2022, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released the findings of its 2021 Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy (the Notorious Markets List).  That report included concerns outlined in a nine-page, October 21, 2021 statement by ACEF about the impact of counterfeits on the numismatic community and the general public, as well as the effect on the U.S. monetary system.

Office of U.S. Trade Representative

The comments articulated on the mission of ACEF and the strategic initiatives of the Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force, including public awareness, and providing educational and investigative resources to dealers, collectors, and law enforcement in regard to counterfeit coinage and precious metals. ACEF, acting through its Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force, also works closely with U.S. Treasury Department Office of Inspector General, Secret Service, Customs and Border Protection.

ACEF expressly identified physical markets such as Facebook, Alibaba’s Aliexpress.com, Amazon, and eBay. ACEF also illustrated through case examples the growing gross victimization of collectors, investors, and the general public. ACTF investigators recently identified several e-commerce platforms marketing counterfeit coins and precious metals using the logos of legitimate dealers and numismatic organizations such as the ANA, ICTA, PNG, and the U.S. Mint.

Representatives from ANA, ICTA, and PNG stated they had not given permission to the platforms under investigation by ACTF to use in the marketing of their counterfeit goods. The illegal misrepresentation provides another layer of legitimacy but infringes on the Intellectual Property Rights of the entities listed above and can cause reputation and financial losses now and into the future.

Matesee graphic

The Notorious Markets List highlights online and physical markets that reportedly engage in or facilitate substantial trademark counterfeiting or copyright piracy. ACEF’s nine-page comment was included in the report. The comments provide a current and in-depth educational overview of the current explosion of counterfeit U.S. coins and precious metals on e-commerce platforms and imported into the United States.

The work of the Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force is supported solely by donations to the Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation, a non-profit corporation. Donations in any amount help make a difference in helping prevent collectors, dealers, and the general public from becoming victims of counterfeits.

Monetary contributions can be made online at www.ACEFonline.org/donate or by check mailed to ACEF, 28441 Rancho California Rd., Ste. 106, Temecula, CA92590. For additional information about donating contact ACEF Executive Director Bob Brueggeman at info@ACEFonline.org.

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Antonio

I always wonder, which is better for grading coins, PCGS or NGC? Is there a difference? I see more coins are graded by NGC and have a CAC sticker.

Rich

IMO, PCGS is better. I think there is a difference in quality, appearance, reputation and resale value. Additionally, the PCGS physical slab holder is of superior quality and holds the coin in place tighter. I have actually seen more coins graded by PCGS having a CAC sticker. But in the final analysis, it is really just a matter of preference and opinion.
BTW Antonio, you and SENZA make up a hard to beat one-two punch when it comes to being first one in and out on the thread.

Major D

I’ve stayed away from slabs entirely and have all my coins in capsules within original sets. I’ve heard that coins can tarnish and degrade inside slabs, so the grading is not a guarantee. Also, to me it is more of a personal connection to not have in a slab.

SENZA

The Antonio Award Hmm where have I heard that before – Antonio do you have gown you can wear to the ceremony

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