Nationwide — In the sports memorabilia community, integrity and authentication are paramount. But recent revelations indicate that even those who claim to be the watchdogs of the community can become the fraudsters they vow to expose.
“Watchdog” or Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing?
A social media account known as @cardprn, which has accumulated over 100,000 followers by positioning itself as a watchdog in the sports memorabilia world, is under scrutiny for alleged fraudulent activities.
The account recently made headlines for procuring a game-worn Michael Jordan jersey for $26,896. Using a fake charity foundation, named after a deceased photographer, @cardprn allegedly manipulated authenticators at MeiGray. New photos supposedly purchased from this ‘foundation’ led MeiGray to link the jersey to the 1996 Eastern Conference Finals, adding approximately $1 million to its value.
Reporters and hobbyists, notably Darren Rovell, began questioning the authenticity, leading to an investigative article featuring quotes from the photographer’s son denying any relation to the purported foundation. MeiGray has since revoked their certificate of authenticity for the jersey.
Another Case in Point
In another incident, an eBay buyer purchased a BGS Raw Card Review Michael Jordan Star Autograph #101 from a seller named “hamaze,” who was reputable at the time. Conducted off eBay, the transaction used PayPal and Discover for payment.
Soon, the buyer discovered that both the card and the autograph were fakes. The seller, who had promised a full refund, vanished—deactivating all points of contact including his eBay and Facebook accounts.
The buyer has since been stuck in a bureaucratic maze with PayPal, Discover, and the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB), filing multiple police reports in the process.
The dispute was posted on the Blowout Forum in July 2021.
Seller Information and Community Warnings
The eBay seller “hamaze,” identified as Juan Garcia, allegedly has residence in Australia.
The community has rallied behind the victims, cautioning others to stay vigilant. “If I can save even one person from dealing with these people, it’s worth it,” said the eBay buyer.
These cases underscore the murky waters of the sports memorabilia market, revealing that scam artists can hide even behind reputations and large followings. Both cases serve as a stark reminder that buyers should exercise extreme caution.
Whether @cardprn is found guilty, the damage to the community’s trust may take longer to repair than any financial loss. For now, hobbyists are left to question who they can trust in a marketplace fraught with both high-value goods and high-stakes fraud.