High Quality Counterfeits

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High Quality Counterfeits

Postby Mcdonalds » Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:09 am

This was bound to happen sooner or later but

fakes, fakes everywhere

Haven't held one but pawing through posts on salvation, supposedly they have a glossy surface (dunno if that is true though, the one picture with light on them, the fake kinda looks like it does, but it's not a good example if so)

thoughts, will this crash the market, will anyone care?

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Postby Helios » Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:15 am

I'm actually 90% sure one of my Chandra's is fake, because it legitimately feels different than the others. I hope it doesn't crash the market, because a crashed market is bad for the game :(

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Postby Mcdonalds » Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:20 am

take a close look at the font/spacing on them, also did you get it from a store/trade/ebay?

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Postby rezombad » Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:52 am

I, personally, am very excited for this. I plan on diluting the market on JTMS by travelling cross-country selling 1-2 playsets to every LGS in the us.
Galspanic wrote:You post on dtr? Cool? Honestly, I don't know who posts there and who doesn't.

Galspanic wrote:I actually read that site quite a bit but its mostly because a lot of the people I used to interact with on MTGS are over there.

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Postby Kazekirimaru » Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:21 am

Brilliant.
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Postby admin » Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:39 pm

I'll be honest, when I saw the title in the active topics, I was coming here with the intention of deleting the OP and his posts, and reporting him for spamming XD

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Postby Kazekirimaru » Thu Jan 09, 2014 5:56 pm

Yeah, not likely.
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Postby _DarkDuelist_ » Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:09 pm

Well I live in NC, I hope these don't show up at my local shops...

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Postby _DarkDuelist_ » Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:30 pm

Helios, I am unable to access the forum post you sent me.

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Postby Sir Sapphire the 3rd » Sun Jan 19, 2014 7:11 pm

who the fuck is selling this shit?
I just shit post and get blocked on the twatters

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Postby Kaitscralt » Sun Jan 19, 2014 8:59 pm

chanks
Lord_Mcdonalds » Yesterday, 3:13 pm wrote: Standard hobos who play budget garbage should be looked upon with suspicion.

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Postby Sir Sapphire the 3rd » Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:30 am

I meant what site. I am curious.
I just shit post and get blocked on the twatters

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Postby Pendulum » Mon Jan 20, 2014 5:49 am

I don't think they're being wholesale shipped into the country through any particular venue, they're just being traded off in bulk by mules who take a stack with them and get rid of them, like most any laundering scheme. The bigger problem is really the fact that this type of counterfeiting has been around for years now (it's often called "perfect printing" or "quadrant prints" when referring to artworks or money laundering): the systems requires to analyze the data and produce a perfect copy of anything from a Magic card to Leonardo DaVinci's Birth of Man do exist but are expensive and heavily tracked by the FBI in the US, so up until now those factors have kept the crime fairly non-invasive until now, when through online media it's easier, safer and cheaper to just find someone somewhere with the machine and have them print you up a couple of zillion copies. While of course Sally's policy on yet
again not talking about Fight Club are stupid and silly coming from a third-party discussion group, the real enemy is knowledge here: it really only takes a mental leap of logic to go "Do I have access to the internet, know how to use a proxy ISP, and have like $600 lying around? Then I can get in on this too!" and the danger of flooding the market increases exponentially with each generation that crosses into the existing market.

Not to start a panic or anything, but I will say that my nephew, who I'm not supposed to tell you spends most of his time reading intel he gets from spy planes with advanced anti-detection technology flying over, um, an area of the world that may or may not be directly adjacent to China specifically looking for this sort of thing, was so scared by the possibility of such an influx of counterfeits that he sold off every card in his collection worth more than $40.
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Postby Kaitscralt » Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:28 pm

your nephew's an ass
Lord_Mcdonalds » Yesterday, 3:13 pm wrote: Standard hobos who play budget garbage should be looked upon with suspicion.

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Postby Pendulum » Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:36 am

Yes, yes he is.
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Postby Pendulum » Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:41 pm

Anywhoo, it's come to my attention there are a few people looking for a little more information on the subject of what the fuck everyone is so up in arms about, and there doesn't seem to be much in the way of discussion about it elsewhere, so I asked the aforementioned ass of a nephew what he's so scared of. What I got was a glut of information, and I've had enough people asking about specifics that I'll provide a synopsis.

Pendulum guide to smoking fake weed not committing illegal acts because don't commit illegal acts and also stay away from drugs The More You Know PSA
[note: this deals with counterfeits in the American market. While other markets are also susceptible, the American market is the most lucrative, making it much more attractive to would-be criminals]

There are two mainstream ways to produce quality counterfeits. Either do it yourself, or have
someone else do it for you.

Doing it yourself has always been a major risk to the CCG market, but it's hard to pull off, costly, and you'll be forced to deal with a number of third-party materials distributors, so it's pretty easy to prove in a court of law assuming you get caught. What you'll need if you want to risk it, though, are the following materials:
- Blanked cards with the Magic backing: use pure acetone to cleanly remove the entire image from a basic land or other throwaway card (acetone will also slightly abrase the surface for easy adhesion).
- A shitty HP printer, paid for in cash, bought at Wal-Mart (it's extremely hard to track if you buy this printer from this location)
- printer's glue. This is glue specially designed to lose 99% of its moisture content during the drying process; it can be purchased from most magazine companies or printing factories, but have a good cover story as it's value in counterfeiting is well-known and will raise red flags (suggestion: few people
ask a lot of follow up questions to the statement that you want to make high-quality reproductions of all the hentai porn you draw, although do keep in mind that in the case of a follow-up investigation you should probably make some high-quality reproductions of all the hentai porn you draw)
- Sweatpaper. This is special transparent paper printed as thinly as possible to make modifications to magazine prints, and provides gloss; purchase it while you're getting the printer's glue. You can also use Saran Wrap, but it involves making a crib of sorts to support the plastic while printing, and cracking your printer's software so that it recognizes the plastic as a printable surface and not as a paper jam.

After you have these items together, the process is fairly simple: scan an image of the card you want to counterfeit, making sure to click the 'exact size' tab, then (and here's the tricky part) reverse the image. Print it off, cut it out, and glue it very, very carefully ink-side down onto the
blank. Let it dry for a couple of days, and use a terry-cloth towel or other lightly abrasive substance to cut down on the gloss of the plastic overlay (stop when it looks like a real Magic card). Expect to spend at least an hour on this, but do not give in to the temptation to use something with more abrasion: the amount of plastic coating you're trying to remove is going to only be a few microns thick, and one rub too hard means you're starting all over.
Voila! One fake Jace. Done correctly, it will pass muster 99% of the time, and only by destroying the card to get at the chemical composition of the card's surfacing will you be able to tell it's a fake... although doing it correctly will take a ton of practice and is expensive, as your printer isn't designed for this work and will probably only make a few hundred copies before it breaks down, and only about 1 in 20 will be even close to good enough to pass for realistic.
As you should be able to tell by now, the only reason to go through this
is to say you've done it... you could start some kind of fake-Magic-card Mafia ring, but frankly it's just cheaper and safer to print fake money instead (hint: there's an episode of Castle that tells you how to do it).

Now, as for international counterfeiting, this process is much, much easier, especially if you get China, North Korea, or some other country that hates America to do it. Truth be told, it's not even technically counterfeiting: they simply print Magic cards, using big machines that cost millions of dollars, with the same paper materials, the same inks, and the same machines. As we've already seen, the only issue in the actual printing is with proofreading and quality control, which makes sense, all their cards come in this funny nonMurican language so they don't understand what a real card is even supposed to look like.
All you'll need is:
- a contact with someone who has access to these machines; a lot of the reason this is so worrisome for the American
market is that most of the people doing this are, in fact, military personnel stationed in these areas and using military clout and confidence to get their wishes fulfilled. It is called profiteering. Other possible access points include business relations, other criminal organizations hoping that counterfeiting Magic cards is less telltale than printing money, and other types who don't resemble neckbeards in the slightest... which, by the way, is why I don't have a problem with sharing this information with you: the idea that somebody from MTGSalvation is simply going to get a bunch of Chinese nationals to print off a billiondy Jaces and spread them around is laughable, and if it happened that person would undoubtedly find themselves either put into prison or sinking to the bottom of the Hudson River with a pair of cement shoes in short order.
Now, that's the situation as it hold right now: high-end organizations aren't stupid enough to flood the market, and they're not going to listen to
neckbeards. However, and this is the part that is a real threat and I'll go ahead and give the mods here permission to remove this part if they see fit because of it and I won't be offended, there is one other factor up for consideration: Anonymous. Not only are they stupid enough to do it, but they have the necessary clout, it falls into their ideals of open information and eliminating monopolies, and oh yeah they have a whole bunch of Target credit card numbers they have to launder into real money somehow without getting caught. So far they haven't shown an interest, but Anon is like that: they go from non-interest to full-bore Brooklyn Rage in the span of a day or less.
- a bunch of money and/or clout. The amount of money that you'll have to pull together will vary quite a bit depending on a bunch of unknowable variables, but it's safe to assume that no printing company, even in China, is going to start up the machines for less than a couple of thousand copies; I know we're in Murica, but
remember, just because they live in China doesn't mean they're stupid: they know what they're doing and what you plan to do with your fake Jaces, and they will demand their cut. A safe number would be that you'd need at least $10,000 American to even consider the next step.

This is why the whole conversation is so eerily insidious: consider the scenario where you're on a team of law enforcement officials who have been tasked with ending this counterfeiting ring. Where do you start? Logic dictates that you target our fighting men and women overseas, move on to a bunch of racial profiling for anyone who knows someone in China, then you're up against people who don't pause for a second over human trafficking and, you know, shooting cops who look at them too closely, and if you're lucky maybe you only have to try to find a bunch of internet ghosts who specialize in anonymity and stealing without getting caught by the CIA.

Protecting yourself
Unlike the twists and
turns of actually doing the deed, protecting yourself is as simple as one word: information. If you know how people are doing it, who has the opportunity and what they stand to gain from it, you can easily prevent yourself from being the sucker. Really, it comes down to a bunch of good trading practices that you should be abiding by anyway: trading locally, buying from sellers, and not acting like a paranoid fuckwad are good places to start. Be wary of deals that seem too good to be true: anybody who's actually gotten a bunch of counterfeits is going to want to unload them quickly. Most of the people looking to dump those cards will want cash, not cards, so, you know, don't give them cash. Simple stuff, and knowing what raises a red flag are the most important possible defences you can have.
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Postby Mcdonalds » Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:56 pm

Pendulum, do you get bored and post long PSAs like that or for lulz?

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Postby Pendulum » Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:59 pm

The lulz, mostly. My entertainment threshold is pretty low, so I'm rarely ever bored. Addendum to that, though, is that I do find stuff like counterfeit Magic cards (or lolcats, or pretty much anything) fascinating to explore more fully, so I don't mind putting in the time to look stuff up, and doing a write-up of my findings is something I can do during my short spurts of inactivity.
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