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Thursday, 20 November 2014

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Cumbrian man uncovers internet fake stamps scam

A Cumbrian businessman has exposed a fake stamps con on the internet after buying a forged batch from China.

Andrew Titcombe photo
Andrew Titcombe

Andrew Titcombe, who runs an online business from Wigton, bought stamps from a seller on internet auction site eBay, which turned out to be bogus.

After failing to resolve the issue with Royal Mail or eBay, he contacted BBC2 business show Working Lunch, for which his friend Andrew Gompertz works.

Mr Titcombe has previously been interviewed by the show about online trading issues.

The programme arranged a consultation with Geoff Anandappa, investment portfolio manager for world-famous London stamp officiandos Stanley Gibbons.

He confirmed the batch were fakes and showed viewers some other famous forgeries, some of which are worth more than the originals.

Mr Anandappa said: “It is more likely than not that these were printed in China.

“In the 1990s there was a spate of forgeries, produced in the UK, which were more crude. The secret is to look at the perforations.”

Mr Titcombe has been selling on eBay since the late 1990s and now educates people on how to trade online safely.

He ran an international mail order stamp business while still a pupil at Nelson Thomlinson School, Wigton, which he was forced to abandon or face expulsion.

Mr Titcombe said: “It was a boyhood dream to meet the experts at Stanley Gibbons and be taken behind the scenes to see how they operate.

“I was even offered a job there but had to decline, as commuting from Wigton everyday didn’t seem that attractive.”

 

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