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ILLEGAL STAMPS

Information and Reference of illegal stamps according to U.P.U. Circulars

What Illegal Stamps are

According to the UPU, "an illegal stamp is one that carries the name of a legitimate country or territory, but was not produced or printed by the postal administration of that country, and is not valid for postage anywhere in the world."

To me a very straight forward answer. There are many others that wish to include speculative and overproduced stamp issues. If they were authorized by the country in question they are not illegals.

A little history

The majority of illegal stamps on the market today are modern topical issues. The major production of them started in the mid 90's. They fall in line with British local issues that were being massively produced at the time. These were locals that were and are made for islands that do not have any legitimate usage for them under the guidelines of what genuine locals (like Lundy Island) are. Yet they are still produced because mainly unknowing collectors (usually topical) buy them. There is a very thin line between them and illegal stamps. Small territories and countries with no postal services have been targeted in the same way and by the same people I might add.

It soon became felt by these now professional fake stamp makers that they could simply start producing stamps using country names of countries with valid postal services and that is just what has and is happening to this day. These producers hide in the shadows of the philatelic world and use a network to move these illegal stamps. Some in the network are prominent high volume stamp dealers and they are located all over the world.

They have now flooded the market with this junk to where thousands of lots on eBay, Delcampe, ebid, Amazon and so forth are these illegal stamp issues. Even though the U.P.U. has posted many circulars denouncing them. These circulars describe many of the issues but policy has been until now, not to post images of the illegals. In my view this policy has failed and the evidence is the massive marketing of them on the internet. The repetative nature of illegal stamps is really quite boring. With the shoddy quality and nature of them I personally cannot understand why topical collectors buy them so readily.
Certain stamp agencies which have already been proven to be the producers of many of these illegal stamps to this day are overproducing huge sets of stamps for some countries which never even use them. Sadly those countries have managed to be conned into contracts with them and now suffer with their postal reputations being tarnished to the point that most savvy collectors and dealers will not even touch their new issues with a ten foot pole!
Those countries should break those contracts because the agencies simply made them to legitimize what would be considered illegal stamps. The style of them is exactly the same as these illegal stamps from the past and present. Same topics, same style and same excessive production. It is obvious and in your face as to who were and are the producers of illegal stamps and yet all these years they have never been fully exposed. All agencies, the UPU and the stamp societies have failed in this so we now have millions of illegal stamps and over produced stamps circulating in the market. These agencies and dealers have become quite powerful now from the ripped off money they have obtained making them more elusive than ever. I do not understand why nobody has used the technology that we have today to root out and expose who has and is doing this. The paper, the gum, the inks used, the printers used can all be found through scientific investigation just like it is used to solve a murder case or robbery. Some of the illegal stamps have the color guides and markings left right on the selvage which is a unique guide as to who the printer is. yet nobody has investigated them and traced them to the source. The legitimate stamp agencies, UPU and stamp societies should have and still could, pool funds together to fund a worldwide investigation using high tech to find the people responsible for this and destroy their ability to do this by imprisonment, major fines, and public exposure as many illegal stamps have infringed on copyrights and all are crimes against the postal administrations they have victimized.

What can I do?

To really damage the sale of them the public needs a more direct approach. Images. Very few people who collect these type of stamps is going to go to the U.P.U. and look up a circular to see if the stamp they are interested in is illegal or not!
Now if that stamp is imaged and the image optimized in search engines to target people interested in the topic it represents or the country it represents, then many more will become aware of what it is and avoid purchasing it.
You see, images are everything in the sale of illegal stamps. They are what attract buyers. So what if the same stamp is imaged and shows up right along with the ones being offered, only showing them it is an illegal stamp issue? Would turn away a lot of collectors that would have fallen victim. Far more than would become interested and buy it. Knowing that they will never retain value, simply because more and more people will recognize that they are illegals and worthless because the images are available for all to see worldwide, should and will sway many away.

With today's technological advances in image recognition it can be a simple task of creating a program that can use images of illegal stamps and scan sites like eBay and Delcampe for lots being sold containing them. In my research on them it is obvious who is selling them in large numbers. These sellers should be targeted and their lots deleted or forced into describing them for what they are automatically. The same program could be used to recognize the images before the seller can even create the lot and stop any seller whether they know or not that the stamps are illegals until properly categorized or described. Using the same technology already in place that stops sellers from offering embargoed country stamps. The stamp collecting community should unite and demand that large public auction sites like eBay, which are now the main movers of these illegal stamps, enact this type of system into their site immediately. Within days some of these sellers offerings which number in the thousands would be diminished to a few if any lots at all! The program would also identify these sellers and give grounds for deleting their accounts entirely under due discretion of the sites management of course. Personally I would kick them out in a heartbeat! These sellers have been selling them for years and it is obvious they know what they are selling.

I therefore have started yet another project. I am going to create webpages as time permits which will document the UPU Circulars that denounce illegal stamps in images! Each page or pages will have access to a PDF file of the UPU circular and the images will be in the same order as the circular documents them. These images will hit the internet within days and within a few months they will be accessed through all major search engines. One image can connect perspective buyers to a source they can check easily. These images can also be used in the suggested program I refer to above.

The circulars to be documented are from legitimate countries with valid postal services who have had their country name used on these illegal stamps. Some circulars denounce stamps issued by segments of their country that are in political turmoil or that have been taken under control by a rival country. Today some of these are found to actually be legitimate in nature. My goal here is to show the obvious illegal stamps and to show the similarities (produced by the same makers) of them. As the list builds you will know who the major sellers of them are simply because they offer hundreds if not thousands of them. Some of these sellers are dealers to avoid in all regards.

Below I am creating a table linking to pages of countries that have posted a UPU circular warning. It is hoped that this will help to curb the buying and selling of illegal stamps that have already been described. My advise is to avoid these sellers, even if they are "reputable" or "professional" or "expert" dealers because if they are selling these illegal stamps...they are not any of those! they are supporting the illegal stamp trade.

As of July 1, 2017

I have just finished another page for a group of circulars I have from the UPU website. They are all for Rwanda who has been plagued since 1999. I hope you like it and that it will help many to get the word out and help buyers and sellers avoid them and the people who sell them. I note that in my search for the images it was quite easy. There are many sellers of these illegal stamps. Almost all the images taken from eBay lots. There a many sellers of Rwanda illegal stamps and new user names are soon to be added to the ever growing list of these sellers.

UPDATE July 2018

For the past year my research and production of new country sections in the illegal stamps arena has been stopped with my investigation and exposure of a massive flood of forgeries being placed on the market of modern stamp issues produced by the Format International Security Printers. It is a catalog changing event and I am finally having articles published in some of the major stamp magazines on the subject. Getting with the editors of the major stamp catalogs to creates notes in the effected country sections is next on the agenda to warn all collectors and dealers worldwide of the existence.

I am now working with key players in the fight against illegal stamps. We are about to start a new campaign against the sellers of them. We are targeting their prime sources of revenue....the major online auction sites. New updated policies are being made which will make it impossible for illegal stamp sellers to sell them on these venues which is their prime source of income. When these policy changes happen....we are going to go to war on them by eradicating their illegal stamp sales from the sites. If they fight....we will eradicate them, the sellers permanently from the sites. That is right illegal stamp sellers, we are coming for you in force!

I am now (sort of) back on track. New editions to the site this year so far are Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan! A ton of illegal stamps for those countries are on the market.
All of this is permanently based on verifiable illegal stamps and unauthorized printings. In other words...if it is imaged on this website with the "ILLEGAL STAMPS" watermark....it is a verified illegal stamp and cannot be contested by anyone!

ILLEGAL STAMPS
Afghanistan Illegal Stamps 2003 Circular 2 and 2007 Circular 177
Benin Illegal Stamps 2004 Circular 30
Djibouti Illegal Stamps 2004 Circular 226
Gambia Illegal Stamps 2004 Circular 308
Ivory Coast Illegal Stamps 2004 Circular 63
Kyrgyzstan Illegal Stamps
Madagascar Illegal Stamps 2008 Circular 193 and 2016 Circular 39
Rwanda Illegal Stamps 2000 to 2017 Circulars


Lists of Online Sellers who Sell Illegal Stamps

If you are on these lists and want to get off of them, prove you are and will not sell any more illegal stamp issues! You are free to contact me through this site at any time....until you stop selling them you will remain on the lists which get archived over time...permanently.

References taken from:
U.P.U. IB Circulars
Internet Research

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UPDATED LAST ON: 01-Jul-2018 04:14 PM