PSA/BGS Slab Scam? 4 Best Tips To Spot A Fake Graded Card (2023)

Owning a graded card of your favorite athlete is a must for any dedicated collector. For one, it preserves the card itself to help it last longer. It also looks good when you obtain quite a number of these slabs. For others, PSA or BGS graded cards are much easier to flip to make a quick profit.

The thing with graded cards, though, is that they can be faked by those with questionable intentions. Collectors who don’t practice sufficient discernment or caution will end up spending their hard-earned money on something that has less value than they realize. Shown below are some effective tips to help you spot these fake slabs.

Ask for closer images of the slab

Nowadays, most collectors opt to buy their cards online, like eBay or Facebook. When the transaction is done in this manner, the ability to personally check these graded cards go out the window. Nevertheless, the need for due diligence becomes more important than ever for card enthusiasts.

PSA/BGS Slab Scam? 4 Best Tips To Spot A Fake Graded Card (1)

The first step that should be done is to ask for close-up images of the slab in question. In making this request, it’s crucial to remember these key points: the label, the corners, and the surface of the graded card itself. The photos that will be sent to you by the buyer should clearly convey these sections of the slab. If this is done properly, potential buyers will have the chance to remotely determine the condition before any deal is finalized.

Check the label

One of the most effective ways to spot a fake slab is to take a closer look at the label. According to PSA, their preferred method of determining the authenticity of their graded cards is to hold the label in front of a bright light. Once this is done, the label’s text should be deciphered by the naked eye. If not, there’s a chance the PSA slab is a fake.

Which one is the fake one? (This is reason #1 why I never purchase old PSA graded card slabs, nor trust the comps on them anymore. Needs to be in a new slab with a new grade. Too many good forgeries coming out of China and India.)

— PSA10Collectibles (@Psa10Collector) June 7, 2021

Another red flag that collectors should look out for is the length of the PSA label. In a post by Cardporn, there are several examples of alleged PSA graded cards with labels that don’t fit the slab’s top section. If you encounter this kind of PSA slab, reporting it to the proper authorities is a must to prevent anyone from being scammed.

(Video) Fake PSA Graded Cards SCAM! How To Spot Fake PSA Cards

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(Video) FAKE PSA Slabs - How to detect 3 Fake Graded Cards

When it comes to BGS slabs, always check the patent number inscribed on the bottom section. It should have a period right after the first three letters. If this mark doesn’t show, or if there’s no patent number present, the BGS slab in question is a fake.

Inspect it personally

If given the chance, the ideal way to inspect a PSA or BGS graded card is to physically hold it in your hand. From there, you can use the tips stated above and apply it to the slab you’re planning to purchase.

PSA/BGS Slab Scam? 4 Best Tips To Spot A Fake Graded Card (2)


PSA/BGS Slab Scam? 4 Best Tips To Spot A Fake Graded Card (3)

(Video) How to Spot a FAKE PSA Slab?! - Tips to avoid buying Fake Graded Cards!

PSA/BGS Slab Scam? 4 Best Tips To Spot A Fake Graded Card (4)

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(Video) Stop PSA Graded Card SCAMS & Spot Fake Slabs… With a Flashlight?

Galen Donnelly ·

With the recent guidelines concerning social distancing, physically checking on these graded cards won’t be possible at any time you choose. If you are given the chance to do so, it’s wise to protect yourself using a mask or deal with someone who has been vaccinated for safety’s sake.

Ask assistance from someone credible

When faced with a dilemma that can’t be solved, the practical solution would be to call on someone with the necessary experience and expertise. For this matter, finding a person who can help you distinguish a fake slab from an authentic one can be a lifesaver.

(Video) How to Spot a Fake PSA Slab on eBay | PSA Cert Verification - Sports Cards

More often than not, a trusted collector with the ability to authenticate a graded card is just around the corner. You can ask for leads in various social media platforms and there’s a big chance you’ll get to communicate with one. Once you’ve found this person, you can present the card you want to purchase and have it examined for any sign of tampering.

These are just some of the ways collectors can use to determine the authenticity of a slab. Collectors can also ask their friends or do further research online for other methods. At the end of the day, it’s important to be discerning with these graded cards so you won’t lose money down the line.


How do you tell if a PSA slab has been tampered? ›

One way the PSA holder may show tampering is what is commonly referred to as "frosting" along the edges where the clear plastic starts to exhibit a cloudy appearance. In some cases, you can actually see minor fractures or cracks in the plastic as a result of the violation.

Are there fake PSA slabs? ›

Some counterfeit PSA Slabs are created using similar techniques that criminals will use to make it seem like it's the same as the real thing, while others come in the form of tampering of legitimate PSA Slabs.

How can you tell if a Beckett card is real? ›

Certification numbers can be verified by utilizing the Cert Verification page on our website or within the Beckett App.

Do fake cards have texture? ›

Card Texture

For starters, a very common thing with fakes is that they are way too glossy. You can literally see the light reflect off the card, meaning that the texture is so off it has become apparent visually. When a card is way too glossy, it will feel completely different than a real Pokemon card.

Do all BGS slabs have a PAT number? ›

Each BGS slab has a registered patent number on the bottom. That number is PAT.

How strict is PSA on centering? ›

Centering must be 85/15 or better on the front and 90/10 or better on the back. A PSA VG-EX 4 card's corners may be slightly rounded. Surface wear is noticeable but modest. The card may have light-scuffing or light scratches.

What does MK mean on a PSA slab? ›

MK. Marks. Any and all cards with writing, ink marks, pencil marks, etc. or evidence of the impression left from the act of writing will be designated "MK."

Can you get fake cards PSA graded? ›

Basically, PSA has no intention of grading a fake card, as the key element of the grading process is the authentication of raw/ungraded cards. A PSA grade is proof that a card is legitimate.

How accurate is PSA authentication? ›

A PSA/DNA Letter of Authenticity is universally accepted as the most reliable verification of authenticity by collectors, investors and all major dealers and auction houses. For 14 consecutive years, the NFL has used PSA/DNA Authentication Services to help prevent potential counterfeiting of Super Bowl game-used items.

Can I trust PSA? ›

Finally, PSA is an independent third-party that is not affiliated with any trading card or memorabilia company. This means buyers can trust the authenticity and grading of their items because the company is not motivated by profits or personal gain. In conclusion, PSA authentication is legitimate and trustworthy.

Can Beckett authentication be faked? ›

Beckett Witness Certification means that a representative from Beckett Authentication Services was there to witness the autograph being signed, and therefore, guarantees it is 100% authentic.

How do you know if a card is real? ›

9 Must-Know Ways to Spot a Fake Credit or Debit Card
  1. Symmetry. First, look at the numbers to ensure they are evenly spaced and aligned. ...
  2. Correlation. Next, check to see if the account number matches the card name. ...
  3. Magnetic Strip. ...
  4. Receipt Match. ...
  5. Hologram. ...
  6. Signature Strip. ...
  7. UV Logos. ...
  8. Microprint.

How do I verify a certificate of authenticity? ›

Chrome has made it simple for any site visitor to get certificate information with just a few clicks:
  1. Click the padlock icon in the address bar for the website.
  2. Click on Certificate (Valid) in the pop-up.
  3. Check the Valid from dates to validate the SSL certificate is current.

What does an embossed card look like? ›

An embossed card is an electronic payment card with imprinted or stamped payment card details that can be felt above the card's surface for taking a physical impression. Embossed details on credit cards and debit cards typically include the cardholder's name and the card number.

What happens if you use a fake card? ›

When you use a fake credit card, you are committing credit card fraud – it is illegal! Even if the card gets declined, you could still get in trouble with the law for intent to defraud in many jurisdictions. From a company standpoint, they expect a certain number of people to convert to paying customers.

How can you tell if a card is a hologram? ›

There are two types of Holographic cards, these are determined by whether the shininess of the card is in the artwork of the Pokemon or if it's on the lettering and exterior of the card. If your Pokemon card has shininess on the lettering that's what's called Reverse Holo.

Why do some PSA slabs say trading card? ›

Why does it say trading card on there? The reason why it says trading card is you are sending this card to PSA/DNA, who is the autograph division of PSA for autograph authentication only. They are not authenticating the card, meaning they're not checking to see if it's a reprint, or if it's a real card.

Is BGS stricter than PSA? ›

BGS are stricter in their grading. While cards with a 91 – 100 score would get a PSA 10 grade, half of it would be graded as a BGS 9.5. Collectors are willing to pay more on the potential that they'll get a card with a score closer to 100.

How heavy is a BGS slab? ›

Product Includes
Limited EditionNo
What's Included•1x Magnetic Case,1x glass cleaning cloth,1x user manual.
Product Weight (lbs)0.19
3 more rows

How far behind is PSA grading? ›

A8. PSA is currently delayed with grading.
PSA Grading Tips Tricks and Frequently Asked Questions.
Service LevelCurrent Turnaround Time (door to door)
ExpressApproximately 3 weeks.
RegularApproximately 4 weeks.
Value PlusApproximately 1 month.
3 more rows
Jan 4, 2023

Are PSA slabs protective? ›

Slab frames provide additional protection for your precious PSA graded trading cards. Made out of a durable acrylic plastic, our cases will give you peace of mind knowing your investment is always safe. Also makes a great alternative to team bags when displaying your graded cards at shows.

How hard is a PSA 10? ›

PSA 10 is the highest condition grade offered by PSA, and is equivalent to a card that is defined as 'Gem-Mint'. PSA defines a PSA 10 card as virtually perfect, but does allow for some minor centering issues. A PSA 10 card must have perfectly sharp corners and perfect borders, with no staining issues or marks.

What color PSA is best? ›

Red-top tube, gel-barrier tube, or green-top (lithium heparin) tube. Do not use oxalate, EDTA, or citrate plasma.

How do you break a slab in PSA? ›

Breaking A Card Out Of A PSA Slab
  1. Use the pliers to make a big incision at the corner of the card. ...
  2. If you have trouble getting the screwdriver in, your incision may not be big enough. ...
  3. Put your screwdriver in about halfway into the grading label section of the slab and push upwards.
May 8, 2021

What does PD mean on a PSA graded card? ›


PD (Print Defect) – Cards with printing defects will either be designated “PD” or will have a numerical grade that reflects the minimum print defects allowed for the grade.

Can you scan PSA cards? ›

For certification verification, simply scan the barcode or key in the certification number to reveal grade, population, population higher, and more. To track your submissions, just log in to see when they arrived, what stage they're currently in and whether or not it has shipped with tracking.

Is it safe to buy PSA graded cards on eBay? ›

Together, eBay and PSA are committed to ensuring accuracy as well as providing a trusted buying and selling experience for collectors. "Our trading card expertise is the perfect complement to eBay's breadth and depth of inventory," said Kevin Lenane, PSA President.

What is the cheapest way to get cards graded by PSA? ›

Decide on a Service Level (Turnaround Time)

There is a Value option for $30 with a 90-120-day turnaround time, and a Bulk option for $20 with a 120-day turnaround time. That said, to be able to get the $30, you'll need to join the PSA Collector's Club for $99 per year.

What percentage of PSA tests are false? ›

PSA has a false positive rate of about 70% and a false negative rate of about 20%. Although screening for prostate cancer with PSA can reduce mortality from prostate cancer, the absolute risk reduction is very small.

Are false PSA readings common? ›

False-positive test results are common with PSA screening; only about 25% of people who have a prostate biopsy due to an elevated PSA level are found to have prostate cancer when a biopsy is done (2).

Should PSA be repeated? ›

Frequency of PSA testing — For patients who choose to undergo PSA screening, some experts suggest repeating PSA testing every two years until it is appropriate to discontinue screening, whereas other experts repeat PSA testing annually.

How do I get a BGS Black label? ›

Your card must be pristine across the board to achieve the perfect 10. This means it must achieve a score of 10 (out of 10) on corners, edges, surface and centering. Check for whitening and chips. Look very carefully as even the smallest nick will eliminate your chances of getting that 'Black Label'.

Is a BGS 10 worth more than a PSA 10? ›

PSA 10 vs BGS 10

So these three well known cards on average increase 1239% when graded BGS 10 vs PSA 10. While this value increase is of course extremely attractive, it is also indicative of the extreme scarcity of the BGS 10 grade.

How long does Beckett take to authenticate? ›

Beckett Authentication Services does not offer guaranteed turnaround times; however, we strive to complete each order submitted for authentication within 30 business days.

How do I prove my signature is authenticity? ›

10 useful steps of autograph authentication
  1. Apply the Burden of Proof. ...
  2. Ascertain the Provenance. ...
  3. Check Consistency with Authentic Examples. ...
  4. Make Sure the Paper, Pen and Ink Are Right. ...
  5. Assess Dissimilarities and Idiosyncracies in the Writing. ...
  6. Do a Forgery-Avoidence Inspection.

What do you use to verify the authenticity of a message? ›

In cryptography, a message authentication code (MAC), sometimes known as a tag, is a short piece of information used for authenticating a message. In other words, to confirm that the message came from the stated sender (its authenticity) and has not been changed.

How do you verify a card? ›

Verify your card
  1. Step 1 of 3. If you saved a debit or credit card to your Google Account online, you'll need to verify your card in order to make contactless payments on Android. ...
  2. Step 2 of 3. Swipe to the card you want to enable and tap Verify now.
  3. Step 3 of 3. Follow the onscreen instructions to verify your card.

What should I look on to see if my card is valid? ›

One way to check if your card is active is by calling your card issuer's customer support phone number and asking. This number is usually listed on the back of your card. Besides maybe a few seconds of hold time, this is the quickest and easiest way to check the status of your card.

How can I test if my card is working? ›

The simplest way to clear up any question about whether your credit card is still active is to call the issuer and ask. Call the number on the back of your card to inquire about the status of your account.

How do you verify Beckett slabs? ›

Certification numbers can be verified by utilizing the Cert Verification page on our website or within the Beckett App.

How can you tell the difference between original and fake certificates? ›

5 Ways to easily identify fake certificates!
  • 1) Inspecting the Design and components.
  • 2) Pay attention to the language.
  • 3) Double-check the University location.
  • 4) Contacting the source:
  • 5) Trust the professionals.
Nov 11, 2022

What is the difference between an authenticated copy and a certified copy? ›

Certified copies don't have to be authenticated by the same authority that issued the original document. They can even be made not just from the original document but also from another certified copy. This document is very similar to notarized copies that are signed and authenticated by a notary public.

Does PSA look at centering? ›

Centering must 90/10 or better on the front and back. A PSA Fair 1.5 card's corners will show extreme wear, possibly affecting framing of the picture. The surface of the card will show advanced stages of wear, including scuffing, scratching, pitting, chipping and staining.

What material is PSA slabs made of? ›

PROTECT: No more slab scratches and dings! Slab frames provide additional protection for your precious PSA graded trading cards. Made out of a durable acrylic plastic, our cases will give you peace of mind knowing your investment is always safe.

What does Q stand for in PSA? ›

A PSA qualifier is, in effect, a designation that decreases the value of your card. Therefore a card with a qualifier, according to PSA, is “a card that meets all the criteria for a particular grade, but fails the standard in one area.”

Is there an app to check centering on cards? ›

True Grade App 4+

Users can create an account that will allow them to take a photo of their card, grade it on the spot, and save their card in a collection for their records. Cards are graded based on these factors: Centering, Corners, Edges, and Surface.

How strict is PSA on corners? ›

A PSA 10 card must have perfectly sharp corners and perfect borders, with no staining issues or marks. Centering is not to exceed 55/45 to 60/40 in the front or 75/25 on the reverse.

Where do you store PSA slabs? ›

You may want to keep them all together inside a corrugated storage box, or simply any size (100-count, 200-count, 500-count, etc.) storage box before you elect to send them into PSA for authenticating and grading. The important thing is to keep them dry and out of direct sunlight for fear of fading over time.

Why does PSA sell higher than BGS? ›

BGS are stricter in their grading. While cards with a 91 – 100 score would get a PSA 10 grade, half of it would be graded as a BGS 9.5. Collectors are willing to pay more on the potential that they'll get a card with a score closer to 100. This hope – however minute – is absent with BGS grading.

Do PSA slabs protect cards? ›

Slab frames provide additional protection for your precious PSA graded trading cards.

How accurate is PSA card grading? ›

PSA and BGS are the most reputable sports card grading authenticators, and the price summoned from these two leading grading services is proof of that. Both companies are reputable, trustworthy, and highly recommended to grade your treasured sports cards.


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