In recent months, there has been an influx of fake cards entering the Digimon TCG market, with many of them being very difficult to differentiate from the real thing. Among them is a large influx of the new Omnimon White Parallel cards that came with the Double Diamond booster. What is worrying about this is that the card has the lowest pull rate of the entire TCG, making it worth an incredible sum of money. This means that the appeal to produce and sell them will be high and may result in them saturating the market and potentially scamming 1000s of unaware collectors.
When many of us were younger, the only way to trade our favourite TCG cards were in person. Back then, it was much easier to detect a fake card, mainly because you could inspect the card and notice any major giveaways like the texture or print quality. In fact, some of the early fake cards for the Pokemon TCG were just awful, having foiling that looked like they came straight from a birthday balloon. Well, things have moved on since those days and technology has gotten much better, which now means that more authentic looking fakes are rearing their ugly heads on the market – especially in the Digimon TCG.
The majority of trades and sales are now being done online, making it easier for scammers to try and sell counterfeit cards. There are trust systems implemented in social media groups, with many of them encouraging other members to vouch for a member they have previously dealt with before making the transaction, but some scammers still manage to slip through the cracks.
How to Spot a fake Digimon TCG Card –
Only being able to see images of the card you want to buy can be risky if you are dealing with someone new. If the card does happen to be a fake, then those taking the pictures could manipulate the card and the environment to make it look more realistic. With that being said, there are things you can do and look out for to identify a fake card.
Although the quality of the Digimon TCG fake cards can be pretty good, they are by no means perfect. The first sign to look out for is the glossiness of the card, as the fakes will look and feel way shinier than the standard versions. The gold foiling around the borders of SEC cards are a big giveaway and don’t look like the original counterpart. Also, because of the foil paper they are printing on, the fake cards are entirely holographic, while the original ones only have foiling in select parts. One of the biggest telltale signs to detect a fake is by the colour of the back of the card, as a fake card will look far darker.
It’s worth noting that although these are things to look out for, those manufacturing the counterfeits could make changes to make them more realistic.
Ways to Prevent Being Scammed –
When buying a card online, make sure you always see the card out of the sleeve or Toploader, as the plastic surface can help cover the texture of a fake. When trying to buy more expensive cards, like the parallel Omnimon, try asking the seller for a video of the card being slowly pivoted from side to side in natural light.
If you are paying for the card through PayPal, never pay through the ‘Friends and Family’ option. Scammers will push this option as a way to avoid fees, but what it ultimately does is wave your right to claim your money back if the card turns out to be fake or doesn’t show up at all. The ‘Gifts and Services’ option will protect you fully if any issues arise.
If someone is trying to sell on eBay, make sure you check out their feedback and sales rating before purchasing. Also, check out the other items they are selling, if they are only selling high rarity cards or just one card and nothing else, investigate further.
If someone is using a Facebook or Instagram account to sell their cards, head over to their profile. If they have barely any personal information, friends or posts, it may be a newly created dummy account. You can even put their display picture through a google reverse search to see if the image has been stolen from someone else. If you identify an account as being fake, you can report them to the sales/trade group and the social media platform to help protect others from being scammed.
Even the scammer can be scammed when purposely trying to buy fake cards to sell on as real ones. The posts shown on mass shopping websites based out of China and Singapore may actually be using authentic cards in their images but sending out poor imitations. Getting your money back from these kinds of sites will be incredibly difficult, especially if the cards are marked as fake/proxies in the description.
Currently, it seems that it is mainly Japanese cards that are being faked, but as the game continues to grow in popularity in western countries, it’s only a matter of time before more English fake cards come onto the market.
All large TCGs are subjected to fake cards and shouldn’t be something to worry too much about. If you follow the tips in this article and be vigilant, the Digimon TCG and its thriving community will not be ruined. The number one rule to follow when buying/trading cards is: if the deal is too good to be true, it most probably is.
Mathew Parkes – Ludkins Media
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