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For broadcast on CBS Radio Network stations March 13-14, 2004:

Beware Bogus Stamps

The Stamp Collecting Report, I'm Lloyd de Vries. 

What's that they say about a deal looking too good to be true? 

Authorities are finding a large number of counterfeit 37-cent flag stamps, mostly from 
sales in quantity on eBay. 

The forgeries are described as "quite good." Just about the only way to tell them from 
the real thing is that the fakes are missing some microprinting...and tagging, the 
phosphorescent coating that tells automated sorting machines there are stamps on the 

In fact, one of the earliest discoveries came when a couple's wedding invitations were 
rejected by the machines, reports Stamp Collector newspaper. The stamps have turned up 
all over the country, and were even sold by a post office in Washington state after 
being exchanged there.

A postal inspector told another paper there's been a marked increase in counterfeit 
stamps in the past year. It all raises questions about the security of having private 
companies print U-S stamps. something collectors have been complaining about for years. 
<The government's Bureau of Engraving and Printing lost most of the jobs, because of cost.>

<These forgeries probably aren't aimed at collectors, but at defrauding the Postal Service of revenue, and making money for someone.>

And that's Stamp Collecting this week. I'm Lloyd de Vries, CBS News. 

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