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My brother is working in a union and has met a bunch of people and started making good money lately. Yesterday, a colleague of his needed a favor because his car broke down, so my brother spent the night driving him home and dealing with a few other details. In return (or maybe not, unsure of the details), this guy offered to have my brother sell some baseball cards that the colleague had, some of which were supposedly extremely valuable. He then gave my brother a sleeve of the cards he had without any monetary exchange.

I took a look at the cards this morning and each card is in those plastic protective cases. There's probably 100-200 cards in the cardboard sleeve. My brother was telling me about how some of them were pretty valuable, and that his "super cool" friend who he'd known for three weeks just handed him this sleeve and asked him to help sell them, and in return he'd get a third of the cut.

He then showed me the specific most valuable card, a 1990 Jose Uribe, which was, according to him, one of the first error cards, and one of only 1000 others. He showed me how it was printed off-center, such that the padding on the right was about twice as much as on the left. This card was supposedly worth $250,000 and he said how his friend showed him listings for it on eBay in that price range.

Well, having read a lot on money.se and around the Internet about how scams work, I was immediately suspicious and told him some basic rules on how to avoid scams (don't give him money first, make sure checks don't bounce, etc) and he said that his friend was super cool, that he trusted him, but that he would be careful.

I later searched "Jose Uribe error card" on Google and was immediately met with links saying that the card wasn't valuable and you shouldn't buy it for $250,000. This made me more suspicious about the rest of the cards, and I wonder if this could somehow really be an elaborate scam.

Reasons I think this could be a scam:

  1. He's only known him for 3 weeks, and he's "super cool"

  2. He just willingly handed over (what he thought was) hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of baseball cards

  3. He's giving my brother a large percentage of the cut, after my brother specifically sells them

Reasons it might be legitimate:

  1. My brother actually helped him first and he's doing this in return

  2. He's a higher ranking guy in his union so my brother says he's more senior and trustworthy

  3. There doesn't seem like any possibility of the sort of double/take-back exchange that happens in any common scam, it seems like my brother will simply sell the cards, and split the money

So, regardless of the true value of a Jose Uribe error card, is this an elaborate scam? Or could my brother be on track to make a legitimate quick buck selling these cards on eBay?

Update: Well, I showed my brother this post and the answers it has, but he is adamant that everyone here is wrong and he's doing it in a different way that will definitely not result in him being scammed or taken advantage. I just wished him luck, because if he read through this then there's really not much more to say. I guess we'll see what happens, maybe I'll update this in a few months with whatever happens.

Thanks a lot for the great replies and advice, everyone, I appreciate it.

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    A key question - Why would your brothers friend not simply sell these cards himself? Why use an intermediary and give up 30% of the profit? – Freiheit Apr 5 at 13:50
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    How do you know that they're legitimate cards and aren't stolen or counterfeit? – jamesdlin Apr 5 at 19:46
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    "He's a higher ranking guy [...] so my brother says he's more senior and trustworthy" - Regardless of context, rank/seniority does not correlate to trustworthiness. – aroth Apr 7 at 0:56
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    OP, consider changing the accepted answer to @Eric Lippert's answer. And warn your brother off of this. At least read Eric's answer thoroughly. Ask your brother if he would hand anyone something worth 250000. – msouth Apr 7 at 7:09
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    The Jose Uribe card is the Nigerian prince of baseball cards. Someone with common knowledge in the field can ballpark an upper bound to a card's value, so claiming a 6-figure value to one serves to filter out anyone but those completely unfamiliar with the market. – Therac Apr 8 at 9:54
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I'll take a stab at an answer here. There are a few odd things about the deal. Hanlon's Razor may apply here. This does not seem like a fair or good deal to me, but it doesn't quite elevate to the level of a typical scam.

The optimistic view of this situation is that:

  • Your brother's acquaintance is just the kind of entrepreneur who wheels and deals and does odd gigs to earn some money
  • Your brother's acquaintance is not a baseball card expert either but rather a general wheeler-dealer. That doesn't improve the deal but its faults are from ignorance and not malice
  • There is an existing, albeit brief, working relationship through a regular job and the union
  • Your brother's acquaintance just needs some basic labor done. Listing hundreds of small, low value items is tedious work. 30% for piece work with the potential bonus for a valuable card

The pessimistic view is that:

  • Your brother is being asked to list and sell something that he doesn't understand
  • There are listing fees or shipping fees that the seller wants to foist off on your brother
  • Many scams start with small requests and favors. This gets the mark in the habit of doing things for you. Over time the requests get bigger and bigger.
  • The cards are worthless or low value - the actual seller is getting a hell of a deal to sort, list, ship and sell hundreds of items. Your brother might get a bonus for a valuable card but he's likely to earn pennies per card. Pennies per listing for a guy with a solid union job is being under paid.
  • Unions may have rules about moonlighting or fraternizing. Do those rules exist in this case? Are they being violated?
  • The actual seller has some sort of banking or credit problem and cannot list the cards himself. Your brother is being used as a fence or cutout because the seller got banned from PayPal or eBay or where-ever.
  • Your brother does the listings and gets to deal with the joys of shipping, chargebacks, etc.
  • Your brother's acquaintance is abusing his seniority at work to get cheap labor outside of work
  • Your brother finds a valuable card, sells it for $250,000, and gets his 30%. Then taxes come due, since your brother sold the $250,000 card in his name using his accounts the tax man will come for him. He could get stiffed with taxes on that entire $250,000. At a bare minimum, understanding how to account for the various payments and monies for tax purposes is a must.

A few points from the pessimistic listing line up with a common scam in Las Vegas where a scammer offers someone a pile of valuable chips, says to cash them in and take 20%. The chips are stolen, the scammer is banned, and the cut doesn't begin to cover the taxes. Some rube ends up footing the bill and the trouble for the scammer.

A comment pointed out that this also bears some similarities to the violin scam in that a high value item that the mark is not an expert with is being dangled in front of the mark. If an offer comes along to let the mark buy that high value item at a significant discount then it is definitely a scam.

The general advice in this situation would be to treat it like any other job offer - Know your employer, ask questions about the job, ask questions about the materials being sold, understand your costs as a sub-contractor, and get your contracts in writing.

A specific answer to the question posed - It is not clear that this is a scam but it doesn't look entirely above board. Your brother should enjoy working his new job with a solid union-backed salary. Pay down debt, save, and invest that salary wisely for a bit then consider a side gig once he's settled in to his job.

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    Good answer. It seems to me that the brother's friend is simply ignorant of the real value of the cards, and not trying to scam anyone. However, the points you listed are definitely valid. If any of the cards do turn out to be valuable, taxes (and who pays them) will be an important consideration. – Nosjack Apr 5 at 15:44
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    This is a really great answer. I appreciate the thought and possible outcomes put into this. I'll show it to him and mark this as the answer. Thank you! – el toro Apr 5 at 17:14
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    This could be a problem if the cards were stolen and the cool friend is fencing them. – Arluin Apr 5 at 20:27
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    @Arluin Agreed. To me this sounds like the "friend" wants OP's brother to help sell them so that they appear to be getting sold by multiple people rather than a single box of "The same exact contents of what was just stolen a little bit ago" showing up on the market. – Shufflepants Apr 5 at 20:43
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    Wait ... why does the cut have to cover the taxes? File as Schedule D with sold price as price and bought price is price - cut. – Joshua Apr 5 at 23:02
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TLDR: This is 100% a scam.

My brother is working in a union and has met a bunch of people and started making good money lately

Let me rephrase: "my brother is 'fresh meat' -- he is new to this community so he doesn't know who is trustworthy; he has more money than he knows what to do with; he's got a taste of making good money and now wants more". That's all gold to a con man; that's their dream mark.

Yesterday, a colleague of his needed a favor because his car broke down, so my brother spent the night driving him home and dealing with a few other details.

Con men love it when marks "do them a favour" because it makes the con man seem vulnerable rather than threatening, and builds trust. People like doing favours, and I'm sure your brother is a nice person, but this favour was no accident. The car is fine. The con man asked your brother for "help" because your brother is the new mark in town.

Think about it from the perspective of the con man. Suppose you have come up with a scam involving the mark believing that an object they are holding is crazy valuable. What's the scam? Doesn't matter; the con man knows what it is. What's the object? Doesn't matter, as long as it is plausibly valuable. The key point is, for the scam to work you have to get the MacGuffin in the mark's hands somehow. Which means they have to be at your home, and receptive to receiving a valuable object.

How are you going to do that?

You need to establish a plausible reason to give the mark the MacGuffin at your place, and "in return for a favour" is just such a plausible reason.

What are you going to do, just wait around for an organic opportunity for a favour? Of course not. You're going to manufacture such an opportunity at a time that is convenient for you. And "car trouble" can happen at any time, for any reason.

And then what happens? Your brother spends the evening driving the guy around and helping him with his errands. What does the con man now know? Your brother can afford to keep a car, so he's got money and is not some bus-riding cheapskate. Your brother has enough free time to drop everything and drive someone around all night. He's not going home to his wife and kids right away after work. Let's make some small talk and find out, does he have a girlfriend, and would he like some extra cash to buy her something nice? And so on.

Where do we end up? At the con man's home, which is convenient because that's where he stores the MacGuffin. Then we get to giving the MacGuffin to the mark, in return for the mark's generosity. Which is now plausible, because they've been such good friends for the last couple hours.

Now, I note that the reason for giving the MacGuffin to the mark must not be too plausible. It must be somewhat implausible! Why? Surely the con is better if the reasoning is more plausible, right?

Wrong.

Con men give you deliberately implausible stories because they are looking for marks who will believe implausible stories! They're not trying to con hardened skeptics!

Your brother believed this barely-plausible story that this guy he doesn't know wants to go into business with him. Your brother is new to the community, and has ready cash, and believes barely-plausible stories. Of course the con man wants to be his new best friend!

In return (or maybe not, unsure of the details), this guy offered to have my brother sell some baseball cards that the colleague had, some of which were supposedly extremely valuable.

"Supposedly" is the key word, and good for you for using it. They are worthless.

He then gave my brother a sleeve of the cards he had without any monetary exchange.

Con men do that to again, build trust. Normal people are not in the habit of giving valuable items to people they just met.

I took a look at the cards this morning and each card is in those plastic protective cases.

Those are a penny a dozen. That establishes nothing.

True story: I have all 23 issues of the Marvel Doctor Who Comics reprint series from 1984 in just such plastic protective cases. They are not worth a quarter million dollars.

My brother was telling me about how some of them were pretty valuable

They are not. Your brother is not an expert in this field.

asked him to help sell them, and in return he'd get a third of the cut.

The con man wishes your brother to commit frauds on his behalf, and is keeping 70% of the profits in exchange for 0% of the going to jail when caught.

Or, it's some other scam. Only the con man knows for sure, but it is 100% not legit, whatever it is.

He then showed me the specific most valuable card, a 1990 Jose Uribe, which was, according to him, one of the first error cards, and one of only 1000 others. He showed me how it was printed off-center, such that the padding on the right was about twice as much as on the left. This card was supposedly worth $250,000 and he said how his friend showed him listings for it on eBay in that price range.

It's the "his friend showed him" that is the key there. The "friend" is the one who entered the listings on Ebay. I could list a ham sandwich for a million bucks on Ebay. That does not establish the price of ham sandwiches at a million bucks.

Well, having read a lot on money.se and around the Internet about how scams work, I was immediately suspicious and told him some basic rules on how to avoid scams (don't give him money first, make sure checks don't bounce, etc) and he said that his friend was super cool, that he trusted him, but that he would be careful.

The "he trusted him" is the key part. It is already too late; the con man has the confidence of your brother. The smart thing to do is for your brother to never speak to this person again, but that's not going to happen probably, and I'm sorry for that. Protect yourself. Do not loan your brother any money while he is still friends with this con man, because it will just go to some scheme.

I later searched "Jose Uribe error card" on Google and was immediately met with links saying that the card wasn't valuable and you shouldn't buy it for $250,000. This made me more suspicious about the rest of the cards, and I wonder if this could somehow really be an elaborate scam.

Funny isn't it, how the "friend" knew exactly where to go on the internet to establish a high price, and exactly what sites to avoid that would warn people away from this scam.

Again, you might think "why would the con man deliberately choose a card as the lynchpin of the scam where the first four google hits are 'this is a scam'?" That's a feature of the scam, not a bug. It's the same reason why the "Nigerian prince" scams all still say "Nigeria" in them. The con man is looking to quickly discard people who cannot be easily scammed and retain people who do not check for evidence of scams..

See https://www.econinfosec.org/archive/weis2012/papers/Herley_WEIS2012.pdf for an analysis of this phenomenon.

He's only known him for 3 weeks, and he's "super cool"

All con men are "super cool". Charisma is a requirement of the job.

All con men are people you just met. You don't suddenly get conned by your close personal friends you've known for decades.

He just willingly handed over (what he thought was) hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of baseball cards

The con man knows they are valueless.

He's giving my brother a large percentage of the cut, after my brother specifically sells them

"Too good to be true" and "appealing to your greed" are common characteristics of scams.

My brother actually helped him first and he's doing this in return

Nope. The con man is searching for kind newcomers with ready cash to be his marks. The "helping" was a set-up.

There are frequently men whose "car ran out of gas" standing at the freeway entrance near my house, wearing cheap suits and waving briefcases at passing traffic, hoping for a "favour" from some kind, gullible person. There is no car, and it is not out of gas, and the briefcase is empty.

He's a higher ranking guy in his union so my brother says he's more senior and trustworthy

Do a web search on "union mafia connections" and decide whether being high up in a union is positively correlated with absolute trustworthiness. Sure, not all union leaders are mobsters, but that's not the question. The question is "are all union leaders automatically trustworthy?" and the answer is "no".

There doesn't seem like any possibility of the sort of double/take-back exchange that happens in any common scam, it seems like my brother will simply sell the cards, and split the money

Just because you haven't figured out the scam does not mean it is not real! The con man knows the scam and is relying on your brother not figuring it out.

So, regardless of the true value of a Jose Uribe error card, is this an elaborate scam?

Yep.

Or could my brother be on track to make a legitimate quick buck selling these cards on eBay?

Nope.

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    "I could list a ham sandwich for a million bucks on Ebay. That does not establish the price of ham sandwiches at a million bucks." I always love seeing articles about "Childhood thing could be worth $$$$! See someone selling it on ebay for $250k!" Funny how you never see any sold at that price. – TemporalWolf Apr 5 at 20:45
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    Bernie conned a significant number of his personal friends that he'd known for decades. – Valorum Apr 5 at 21:58
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    @Valorum: Good point; Bernie Madoff was playing the "long con". I should have distinguished between the short con and the long con. Also, Bernie Madoff was not your run-of-the-mill con man! He was one of the greatest who ever lived, and we shouldn't generalize from outliers. – Eric Lippert Apr 5 at 22:05
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    This answer is a scammer's nightmare if nightmares were text – Felipe Pereira Apr 6 at 2:04
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    @TheGilbertArenasDagger: It doesn't matter what the scam is, and the brother is already in danger. The brother has been convinced that the con man means him well. The brother is in possession of merchandise which is stolen, or phony. If the brother gives the merchandise back, he's vulnerable to being accused of "swapping out" the "real" card for a "fake" one worth less, and then pressured to pay the difference. He's vulnerable to the merchandise being stolen by a confidante of the con man. We don't have to know what the scam is for there to be one in progress. – Eric Lippert Apr 7 at 14:55
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I’m an avid card collector. The Uribe is a scam, and a well-documented one at that. There is one card in the 1990 Topps set that is “valuable” - the Frank Thomas card that does not feature his name on the front of the card (an actual printing error, as opposed to centering issues). Unless your card is from the 1960’s back (some 1970’s cards qualify, too) or is a modern card that is of a low print run (25 cards or fewer) and is autographed by one of the superstars of the game - like Mike Trout - your cards aren’t worth much.

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This is my take:

Your brother helps someone for one night. They offer him a business proposition. He gives your brother some extremely valuable items, and 33% to sell them. A couple of hundred thousand dollars worth, to be precise. No security, no documentation, no insurance, just the equivalent of "here, take these 200 paintings including a couple of Rembrandts and sell them for me, willya?"

There's a thousand of this card, and this guy happens to have one. And hasn't cashed in, auctioned it or retired. In fact, he offers to pay someone - a stranger, effectively - $80k just to sell it for him.

(Regardless of true worth, this is what he's said he believes it's worth...)

My "uh oh" sense is tingling so much. I don't know what's up, and perhaps nothing, but it tingles. Oh yes it does. Classic stuff, blinding people with greed so they don't consider plausibility.

Risk

Many ideas are suggested in other answers. I'll add this one. I give you a suitcase of $1/4 million cash, or that amount in bearer bonds or land deeds or other bearer valuables. "Can you keep this safe and sell it for me".

Would you feel safe having that in your home, with no docs, no proof, no security? I wouldn't.

All I need do now is arrange a break-in, or perhaps just sit and wait till he comes back to me saying a buyer said they're fakes, or that he wants out. I naturally want my money back. Or I claim these are fakes, your brother must have swapped them. I don't think a discussion is needed if this would work as a scam. The point is, the risk alone of holding what someone claims is that valuable, and tradeable anywhere, is too high for me, without some very careful precautions. It should be too high for him, too, without the same.

One other thing - how did their meeting happen? I'd be mentally reviewing that, to consider if any of it could have been contrived. A conveniently inconvenient car problem, and bing-bang, you have someone you can rope in over the hours they spend chatting. That sort of thing is also common in scams.

Am I being suspicious? Yes - and on those sums and contexts so should he, at least till proven otherwise. Right now it's a million miles from that.

What to do:

Immediate - photo them in high resolution. Get a very safe place for them until he can hand them back - at the absolute earliest opportunity, like 8.30am next morning or an hour after he reads these replies. Also figure who can bear witness what happened or what he said that day when he told friends, and ask them to write brief notes "in case it goes bad" so they can confirm what he said to them and did on the day he got the cards.

He may be sure the owner won't take legal action (whatever the owner might say), because it would raise more questions than any scammer ever wants to have to answer. Any expression of disappointment or let-down may definitely be ignored/brushed off with zero worry or guilt, as its almost certainly a play on his emotions, and not genuine. He's been taken for a mark. He's decided not to be one. End of.

Having said that, and very strongly recommended it, if for unaccountable reasons he wants to have a go:

If he's in or near a sizeable town or city, this is what I'd do: Visit a shop, auctioneer, valuer, or similar, and ask them what they think it would fetch.

This does several things. Your brother isn't an expert. These people are. They'll also know how likely/unlikely other options are, or obscure scams, or stolen goods.

If its genuine and valuable, he'll need that kind of advice: where and how to sell it, how to get a certificate of authenticity, how to keep it safe until sold, how to not have it stolen, what he needs from the other guy to confirm provenance (how he got it and how he can prove it is).

If its not genuine, or there is an actual or potential catch, they'll be able to tell him, and advise what to do.

If your brother thinks there's enough of a chance its genuine, enough to be worth working on and not just handing back, he should equally take it seriously enough to seek good advice on 2 of the highest value cards. What he learns on those will be enough info to decide what to do about the rest, and a lot of collectable valuers/auctioneers will do a valuation or a quick comment for free if you walk in the door and ask.

If its dud or a problem he can throw the issue back at the other guy, and not be saddled with it ("sorry, I can't sell it unless I can prove its not stolen, which means I need something that'll prove it from you"). He can explain that the friend may have been duped too, this doesn't mean implying the friend deliberately did it. Just that, without the things the valuer says, he doesn't want to go further with it.

If its good, he will need that stuff anyway, for any possible buyer, as it'll confirm the likely value and make it more sellable.

If your brother doesn't think there's enough of a chance its genuine, then he has no problem. He should walk away now.

3

There's a popular scam where:

  1. The scammer gives a target a cashier's check.

  2. The target cashes the cashier's check.

  3. The target gives the scammer back part/all of the money.

  4. The cashier's check is revealed to be a fake, and the target is liable.

The baseball cards sound like cashier's checks to me. This is, they're something that the target may plausibly think is valuable, and perhaps convince others of the same, only to find out that they're forgeries after transferring the value "back" to the scammer.

My guess is that the baseball cards may be fakes. So, it might play out like this:

  1. Your brother sells the cards for whatever he can get for them.

  2. He gives the potential scammer a 70% cut.

  3. The buyer realizes that they're fake and sues your brother.

If the cards are real, then it seems more like an issue of if your brother can find a buyer; and if the sale's legitimate, then I'd guess that the cards are worth whatever the buyer agrees to pay for them. The potential scam would seem to be in the cards potentially being fakes.

Here's eBay's advice:

And a thread on eBay about an allegedly fake baseball card auction:

It's hard to guess what else might be involved in this possible scam. For example, maybe there's another scammer involved who'll act as the buyer, ensuring that the baseball cards actually do sell at a high price, such that the first guy gets a 70% cut of a substantial amount. This buyer can then try to recover funds from your brother after "discovering" that the purchased cards are fake.

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    Your idea of the scam makes no sense, as it requires some innocent people to buy a very overpriced card. But the next step could be one of the friends'accomplices using a fake check to buy one of those cards. – SJuan76 Apr 6 at 11:23
  • @SJuan76 I mentioned that possibility at the end. But, I figure it's also possible that it may be a fake of some baseball card that someone would buy for some significant price (even if not the ridiculously high one). I tend to avoid looking into the particulars of a question, e.g. the exact baseball card asked about in the question statement, since that'd make the answer too specific to the OP's exact case, whereas StackExchange means to be a more general knowledge base. So, I figure, there may be cases where someone encounters a scheme like this where there's a fake valuable card. – Nat Apr 6 at 11:25
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    With places like eBay there may be no need for an actual lawsuit. The buyer can simply complain to PayPal or invoke some other buyer protection like a credit card chargeback. If the scammer buys the cards with a stolen credit card the money will also eventually be recovered from the aspiring entrepreneur by one of the large financial institutions involved. – trognanders Apr 7 at 23:08
2

New flavor of the bad check scam?

One possible scam is that the overpriced cards are listed on ebay, but the scammer knows how to find the listing. The scammer buys the overpriced baseball card using a reversible method (like credit card), your friend pays the con man their "cut". The problem is that electronic transaction reverses later. Friend's new "friend" either doesn't have the money to give back or is nowhere to be found.

Association with crime?

Another possible scam might be some form of money laundering. Collectibles have extremely subjective value, so it is not particularly suspicious if they are overpriced. This new "friend" may have an illegal business where their clients have to buy a baseball card from a specific listing to acquire illegal goods or services. Kinda risky because they might charge back, but again con man already has their money. The line between knowing accomplice and hapless rube is dangerously slim here, considering the large cut...

2

Many people asked how such a scam is supposed to unfold, so here is a very similar one which was very popular for some time in my area.

(please note that if this won't be how it unfolds, it might still be a scam)

The scam features an item which in itself is quite inexpensive, but people can easily be made to believe that some special pieces could be worth millions for collectors.

If this is the type of scam I'm thinking of, this is what will happen:

Your brother offers the cards for sale, and a potential buyer will show interest in buying the Jose Uribe card, and, what a coincidence, he is willing to give $250,000 for it! The arrangements for the transaction are discussed, and as the sale is slowly getting closer to be made, your brother already feels the commission of $80,000 in his pockets, he might even start planning how to spend it!

And this mindset is exactly what the scammers want! The card is in his pocket, and he believes the money will soon be in his pocket, and people are known to go further for things they already believe are theirs.

And now, the deal is almost done, but just in the last moment, the potential buyer tells "and, as I understood, you already have the card XYZ in your collection too, right?". It turns out your brother doesn't have it. "Oh, too bad, without that card my collection won't be complete, so I'm not buying it. What a pity, it costs only around $3000, but I've been looking for it for years and couldn't find one! So I'm not buying without it!".

You brother frantically searches the pile of cards again and again, but no, that new card isn't among them. And then soon enough it appears for sale online, for a price around $3000. Wow, it fits the price range the "expert collector" said it should be, so it must be legit. Now, your brother must act quickly, before someone else buys it and then it won't be for sale again for years! And he feels that $80,000 commission already in his pockets!

This is another crucial part of the scam: you must act quickly, before the wondrous opportunity goes away!

Needless to say, after your brother buys that card, the potential buyer disappears, and he will end up with a completely worthless card he gave away thousands for.


Other commenters mentioned ideas such as the brother tries to give the cards back after he failed to sell them, and the scammer will accuse him for switching them with fakes. I'm not saying it's impossible to happen, but it's unlikely, as the scammer doesn't want to confront the victim, as the victim might fight back if he knows he is innocent (and he knows, as he didn't switch them out).

In the scenario I described (and which happened plenty of times, just not with baseball cards but with other collectibles), the scammer has the advantage of coming clean, your brother might not even realize he was part of the scam at all! The scammer later asks for the cards back, and even comforts him for the loss and educates him how many frauds there are, he might even act as a "savior", taking back the cards before your brother makes another "mistake". He might even offer to help catch the fraudsters, of course, without success. And as trust is maintained, your brother is ripe for another scam later on.

-1

This is a hype, not a scam. Those cards are probably not worth much. I have known a few people that were willing to offload their collection from the 90s primarily because it’s a hassle and the payout is not expected to be that much.

Your brother might be doing him a favor. He’s not on the line for anything else. Just don’t expect him to make much money.

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    How many of those people that you know would have given "a card worth $250,000" to someone they barely knew, without even documenting the transaction? The fact that the OPs brother was given the card so happily means that the other guy knows they are not worth what he claims they are worth. – SJuan76 Apr 6 at 9:18
  • Agreed, and it’s a shame if that’s not obvious to everyone involved. If he managed to convince the OPs brother it is legitimately worth that much, then that’s dishonest, but the brother would only be wasting his time. – The Gilbert Arenas Dagger Apr 8 at 12:23
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    Your experience doesn't really apply here, as the person offloading the collection is claiming that the payout is expected to be huge. Giving away near-worthless cards doesn't raise any red flags, giving someone you don't know very well a card that's worth "a quarter of a million dollars" defies all logic. – Nuclear Wang Apr 8 at 12:35
  • Describing this as "hype" is a good way to put it. – Freiheit Apr 8 at 13:43
  • We aren't privy to the conversation that they had and OP did not indicate any promises were made. It's important to be wary of scams but we aren't so far gone as a society that can't we can't even accept someone's baseball cards anymore. – The Gilbert Arenas Dagger Apr 8 at 14:56

protected by JoeTaxpayer Apr 6 at 0:39

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