Every time a major sports figure or entertainment celebrity passes on, the scam artists prey on fans and collectors.
It was a major issue in 2016 when Muhammad Ali died and a virtually unlimited supply of fake signatures began showing up on eBay. Many sold for hundreds of dollars or more.
Over the past three weeks, prices for Kobe Bryant autographed items have skyrocketed. Thanks to his signing sessions with companies like Upper Deck and Panini America, it’s not hard to find a real Kobe autograph if you’re willing to pay current asking prices, but there’s also been a flood of signed items that come with dubious authentication–or none at all.
Los Angeles media outlets have been warning fans and collectors to be careful. The CBS TV affiliate aired an investigative report that called out one seller.
Beckett Authentication’s Steve Grad told KNBC that he hasn’t seen this many phony autographs of one person in the marketplace since Michael Jackson’s death in 2009.
Watch their story below.