PSA Responds to Recent Altered Cards Scandal

The third-party authenticator issued a statement via its Collectors Universe forum

On Sunday PWCC issued a statement about the recent altered cards scandal being uncovered on the Blowout card forums. Monday, they issued a second.

And today, it was PSA’s turn to weigh in as president Steve Sloan offered a statement of his own on the Collectors Universe forum belonging to PSA’s parent company.

PSA is aware of recent hobby message board activity and is conducting its own investigation into the matter.

We take consumer protection seriously, as evidenced by the thousands of altered and counterfeit cards that we reject each year, our on-going investments in grading and holder technology, and long track record of working with law enforcement to eliminate fraud from the hobby.

PSA processes more than two million cards each year and will not let isolated acts from a few dishonest actors deter consumer confidence in our brand. We will act against anyone who violates PSA’s Terms & Conditions by knowingly submitting altered cards for authentication and grading. While our actions will be conducted privately, please know that the impact will be felt by those attempting to mislead collectors for personal profit.

As with any financial transaction, if you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact the seller to initiate a refund request. If the seller is unknown, you may send the card to PSA for review under our Financial Guarantee of Grade and Authenticity.

PSA is well-versed in combating fraud and we have addressed these issues in a professional and direct way for nearly thirty years. After all these years, our hobby is stronger than ever. Rest assured that PSA will not let the actions of a few have any lingering impact on the hobby or the PSA brand.

Steve Sloan
PSA President

In case you’re unfamiliar with the scandal, this is a pretty good place to start.

That PSA issued a statement is not surprising. Pressure had been growing for them to do so and that pressure only rose after PWCC spoke on the subject.

The timing of the statement will be looked upon, too. After all, it comes after a day that the stock of parent company Collectors Universe sunk more than 9% on Monday and then another 1.36% today.

As was the case with the PWCC statement, I’m not sure how much this offering will do to ease collector fears. But one of the things I found interesting was that the PSA statement differed from the PWCC statement in terms of cooperative arrangements.

PWCC indicated that they were working with PSA and also with law enforcement in their initial statement. However, PSA made no such claims, only stating that their ‘actions will be conducted privately.’ PSA did state they have a ‘long track record of working with law enforcement’ but made no such claims that they are doing so in this specific case.

Now, that doesn’t mean that the two are not working together. Nor does it mean that law enforcement has not been involved. But I did find it interesting that PSA took a different path in discussing who they are working with to get this sorted.

How this ends up is anybody’s guess. But PWCC and PSA are, in the end, their own businesses. I would expect both to act in their own best interests here and how blame gets assigned from this point on will be … interesting?

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