PSA and KCBS-2 Examine Influx of Kobe Bryant Autographs2 min read

PSA Authenticator Reveals Telltale Signs

Poon examines a suspect Kobe Bryant autograph for KCBS-2 reporter David Goldstein. It was a forgery.

The tragic death of L.A. Lakers legend Kobe Bryant on January 26, 2020, shocked and saddened the nation and fans across the globe. The 41-year-old star’s unexpected passing also set off a wave of fraudulent Kobe-signed memorabilia surfacing in the market, especially on eBay. Through its own QuickOpinion™ service on eBay, PSA’s autograph authenticators have been inundated with a slew of online submissions for review that has revealed more than 90% of the items up for sale are “likely not genuine.”

“In the first three weeks since his death, we noticed an incredible uptick in the number of QuickOpinion submissions for Kobe signatures,” said Tom Poon, one of PSA’s top autograph authenticators with 25 years of experience. “Unfortunately, we determined that the vast majority of those were forgeries.”

More than 90% of the items up for sale are “likely not genuine.” Click To Tweet

KCBS-2 News Crew Pays PSA a Visit

Poon points out Kobe’s signature characteristics.

Because of the influx of bogus Kobe signatures up for sale, a television news crew from KCBS-2 in Los Angeles paid a visit to PSA headquarters last week in Santa Ana, California. Investigative reporter David Goldstein wanted to learn more about this insensitive phenomenon and what steps collectors can take to avoid the pitfalls of buying fraudulent Kobe-signed memorabilia.

“We want to educate viewers on how not to get ripped off,” said Goldstein. “It’s really unfortunate when this type of situation takes place.”

Toward that end, Goldstein sat down with Poon to discuss the ongoing dilemma. Poon provided him with telltale signs that PSA’s seasoned autograph authenticators look for when they review Kobe-signed memorabilia. Through a properly trained eye, many of those observations can easily detect when a forgery is present.

“If we see any of those, it’s an easy fail,” said Poon.

They reviewed both good and bad Kobe signatures that have been submitted to PSA recently for review. The informative exchange is quite enlightening. Watch the KCBS-2 interview below, which aired on Tuesday evening, Feb. 25, during the station’s 8 p.m. (PST) newscast:

Posted by Terry Melia

Terry Melia is a hobby veteran who has served in various PR, marketing and content roles for industry movers and shakers including The Upper Deck Company and SCP Auctions and is currently working as PSA's Public Relations and Content Specialist.

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