Conway’s Vintage Treasures Attacked by Fraudulent Dealer
“When you become the target of autograph forgers, you must be doing something right”
You may or may not have seen some derogatory FAKE reviews about Conway’s Vintage Treasures. Some start with name calling like “Conman Kevin Conway…..”. Rest assured NOT a single one of the reviews is Legitimate. They are ALL “fake” reviews made up by the SAME individual, a well known seller of autograph forgeries. Someone who has Never Done Business with Me. A number of other reputable dealers, including myself, were able to have him Banned from eBay several years ago for selling autograph forgeries on eBay.. Consequently, protecting innocent people like YOU from being scammed. The fabricated reports you may have seen online are his retaliation. The full story is below.
Over the past 25 years I, along with my business Conway’s Vintage Treasures, have been active within the autograph community with combating fraud, specifically autograph forgeries. There is no more destructive element to collecting this historical memorabilia than the shady people who engage in the crime of producing and/or selling autograph forgeries. However, with the responsibility of actively combating fraud, is the expectation of retaliation, particularly when you are dealing with the criminal element. Consequently, about six months ago, a well known seller of autograph forgeries, whom I “outed” on an autograph forum about five years ago, has been on a smear campaign writing fake negative reviews about my business, Conway’s Vintage Treasures, all over the internet. I even received an email from this unscrupulous dealer on Feb 21 2012 threatening me that if I continued to discuss his illegal activities in the autograph forums, he would “Double and Triple” his online slander campaign.
The full story is below,
We Still Believe “It Pays to be Honest”
I, Kevin Conway, have been collecting and selling Genuine Historical Autographed Memorabilia for over 30 years. Not only is collecting a passion but it is also a livelihood. So like any highly reputable dealer who discovers a “cancer” within the industry that can do great harm, such as unscrupulous sellers of Obvious Autograph Forgeries, I speak out. Even if that means the typically expected malicious retaliation from those that engage in such criminal activity. That is what happened recently as detailed below.
Over the past couple months we were notified by loyal customers that several online consumer complaint websites had reports attacking our business. From someone who has Never done business with us. And of course could NEVER produce any proof of purchase from us. We even asked him to post he purchase claim publicly on the autograph forum , AutographMagazine.com, but he of course never responded.. Sadly the internet has become a safe haven for what many refer to as “Cyber terrorists”. Namely people who are malicious predators using anonymous identities, to make fabricated, slanderous attacks on others, particularly other businesses. . Anyone, such as a business competitor, can open an account on a website like Ripoffreport.com and make outlandish comments about another business without any accountability, any proof of their claim or even any identity verification. See this incredulous story below.
I would like to make you aware of someone who has been posting derogatory blog reports about my business. About 4-5 years ago I noticed a seller on eBay that was buying photos and then weeks later that same photo would be autographed, by “deceased” celebrities (JFK, Bela Lugosi, John Wayne, etc). I commented on this fraudulent autograph seller on the autograph forum “Is It real”. He was eventually banned from selling autographs by eBay . But then I noticed this same individual from New Jersey opened a website that is inundated with obvious forgeries.
Well at the time he threatened to sue me for “outing” him. Such empty threats are common from those who engage in criminal activity. Meanwhile, I didn’t hear from him for the past few years. Then in the Autograph Magazine Live forum I noticed a derogatory post by an individual that I was certain was this same guy. At the same time I was informed by a customer that there were several “Ripoff” type reports on the internet by this person stating I sold him a John Hancock for over $100,000 that I forged and would not refund him. Well, the good thing is he didn’t make much effort to make his claim sound remotely believable. You see, I have never even owned or sold a John Hancock (I WISH I did!), and Never sold anything at a fraction of $100,000. Way out of my league.
* AND, of course this individual could never provide any proof of purchase or even ownership of such a document.
** If you ever read about someone claiming to have bought a Non-Genuine autograph from us, ask for a legitimate proof of purchase. They will NOT be able to provide any. WHY? Because it is only this ONE individual posting all the derogatory statements. The same fraudulent autograph dealer mentioned above. We have not had a reputation for being a highly reputable dealer for over 25+ years for being dishonest. Furthermore, if we EVER sold a FAKE autograph or not fully refund an autograph that did NOT pass JSA or PSA authentication, we would lose our flawless reputation of 25+ years, not to mention our UACC Dealer designation. Unlike sellers of autograph forgeries we are NOT afraid to guarantee JSA or PSA authentication. Those in the business of forgeries tend to ridicule independent authentication services since the last thing they want is an “independent” analysis of their fake autographs. These same unscrupulous individuals also often quote the anti-3rd party authentication blogs.
As a matter of fact, we challenge ANYONE with a complaint who has purchased from us to come forward. WHY would I make such a bold statement publicly? Because we have NEVER had a single complaint in 25 years selling autographs. I know that may sound like hype, but it is 100% true. Also you can go to our home page at Conway’s Vintage Treasures and read all the REAL testimonials. These are real customers , with their real names.
NOTE: Conway’s Vintage Treasures goes beyond just a standard guarantee of authenticity. I am one of the few dealers who specifies on our COA exactly HOW our autographs are Guaranteed for Life. This criteria is critical. WHY? Our COAs state that if the autograph you purchase does not pass PSA or JSA, we will refund, period. So, what happens when you buy an autograph from another dealer and the autograph fails JSA? AND, that dealer responds with “we don’t agree with JSA or PSA”. Well, you can probably figure out the predicament that many collectors find themselves in when that scenario occurs. Unfortunately many of “questionable” dealers know that the legal fees to sue often outweigh the value of the autograph. Hence, always ask the dealer beforehand, WHAT certification will they honor in order to issue a refund. AND, get it in writing, preferably directly on their COA. Otherwise, there may be no recourse.
The irony of all this is that I am known within the autograph community as someone who is extremely conscientious, even obsessed with researching and confirming authenticity of everything we sell, particularly autographs. As a matter of fact, we are despised by many of the known forgers and fraudulent eBay autograph sellers. Which is the reason for multiple cases of retaliation.. Not only do we guarantee everything we sell for life, but we go through an extensive process of authenticating. For example, when we acquired an extremely rare handwritten “Love Letter” from Judy Garland to Frank Sinatra, we didn’t just get a PSA COA. Even though we have an extensive level of expertise with Judy Garland’s signature and handwriting, we contacted a higher level authority and expertise than PSA. Namely, the author of the “Judy Garland Signature Study” who authenticated this historical piece.
Now when you type my business name in Google you may see all these reports which are identical, copy and pasted under various anonymous names, but obviously the same guy. So, in the event you came across one of his postings, you know it is a 100% retaliatory fabrication for “outing” this autograph forger several years ago. I suspect what happened is someone else had posted a report against him based on a Real purchase they made from him more recently and he suspects it was me. But, for the past 20 + years I have always tried to be active in the collecting community combating fraud. But, with that responsibility is the risk of retaliation from the bad element that prey on collectors, particularly inexperienced collectors.
Consequently, we will NOT be intimated by the seedy element of the collecting and memorabilia industry and will continue to Speak Out against shady dealers that sell autograph forgeries . Even when it comes to unsavory people who resort to hiding behind anonymous, slanderous postings on unregulated websites like ripoffreport, where anyone can post completely fabricated complaints under false identities . (*Many people have tried to sue these websites , however they are protected by the Communications Decency Act, where the site owners can void themselves of any responsibility of even the most outrageous, false slander that is written on their websites by “Anonymous” authors. ). There are many people lobbying Congress to modify this law to at least require these websites to verify TRUE identity, but as with much of the internet it will continue to be like the “Wild West” until internet legislation catches up to the real world.
Meanwhile, when it comes to fraudulent sellers, namely in this case blatant autograph forgeries, we will continue to speak out against those who choose to make a living out of hurting innocent people. People that are just wanting to acquire a genuine piece of history, untainted by unscrupulous con-artists.
I understand why many dealers “don’t get involved”. However, if those within the industry do not contribute to combating fraud and criminal activity, who will? And what will be the ramifications to not just the autograph collecting industry but every other area of collecting, from $50 baseball cards to $10,000 movie posters to 50 million dollar paintings ?
A final word about online review sites:
Next time you do research online for a business keep in mind that many of the review websites are NOT legitimate. Why? Because many do not even do any form of Identity Verification. So in other words, a rouge competitor, disgruntled employee, angry relative can go on any of these websites and post completely “made-up” reviews and post them under anonymous names. And these unscrupulous websites will not remove the “fake” reviews, EXCEPT for a fee. For example, Ripoffreport.com will not remove a fake review UNLESS you pay them about $2000 to investigate it. Many consider these sites to be nothing more than a creative form of Extortion. For all we know 90% of the reviews on these websites are completely false, but because these sites do NO identity verification we’ll never know. Examples of these unscrupulous “fake” review sites include:
** To find HONEST reviews for a business only rely on reputable review sites that actual confirm the author’s authentic identification… In the case of autographs for example, the most credible source to get information on a dealer is a site that is MODERATED to insure those making comments are who they say they are and not posting as anonymous and/or malicious revenge seekers. One such site is autographmagazine.com
Also, read our new article “Ten Warning Signs a Dealer May Be Selling Autograph Forgeries“.
UACC Registered Dealer No. 307
Collecting historical memorabilia is hotter than ever. Whether it be movie memorabilia like original vintage movie posters, autographed memorabilia, vintage photos or classic sports memorabilia collectors seem to never have a shortage of passion for the high quality material. For example, with vintage movie posters, horror movie posters never fail to command top dollar. And this has not waned over the past 20 years. Also, choice autographed items from historical figures like John Wayne, Elvis Presley, Albert Einstein, Babe Ruth and other larger than life notables continue to skyrocket in value.