Stamp collecting is a friendly hobby but like anything else, there are people out there who want to take advantage of you. Particularly they seem to be preying on the elderly.
03/8/2017 - Warning: VanGuardStamps.com is not a APS member and we have received reports of unsatisfactory transactions with them. POSSIBLE SCAM!
03/27/15 - Warning: C & H Stamps from Quakertown, PA, is not an APS member and we have received reports of unsatisfactory transactions with them.
01/16/15 - Latest Scam: The latest scam appears to be a company offering to liquidate your stamp inventory (again sight unseen) for a large sum of money if you agree to pay a one-time membership fee of $2,500.
Fraud Alert Continues: In addition to our recent alert that an individual was claiming to be our past president, John Hotchner, we are now receiving calls using different names and directing people to our website stating that they work for us. APS does not buy collections and we would not ask you to be bonded or to put money in escrow to review or purchase your collection. Any call from the APS should come from the 814 area code and any e-mails should have a domain of stamps.org.
Ways to Protect Yourself:
Red Flags that should have you questioning legitimacy:
Unsolicited calls to purchase your stamps
Making an offer without seeing your stamps
Pressure to make immediate decision
Providing a web address to a site with very little detail
Asking you to be bonded
It is hard to imagine a professional stamp dealer offering to purchase a collection sight unseen or even based simply on photos or scans. Unsolicited calls to purchase stamp collections are unusual.Don't be afraid to question them! This is your money/stamps!
We recommend asking any potential buyer about their professional affiliations. Are they an APS member? An American Stamp Dealers Association member? A National Stamp Dealers Association member? And then follow up by phone or e-mail to the organization to confirm.
Look up the phone number provided on switchboard.com - if it is a cell number ask for a land line to a real business that is recognized in the yellow pages! Most legitimate business will have a land line that is recognized in the phone book.
Make sure to get the business address and let them know you will be checking with the Better Business Bureau in their state.
If you have a gut feeling that the transaction is too good to be true, nine times out of ten it is. Please call APS with any concerns or to report your experience - 814-933-3803.