Boom in fake Kobe Bryant memorabilia

Fraudsters are cashing in on the death of basketball star Kobe Bryant by selling fake signed memorabilia on sites like eBay.

Sports memorabilia specialist Steve Grad of Beckett Authentication Services says that Bryant has been a highly sought-after signature throughout his career in professional basketball, and his death has only heightened demand.

Now, the market is being “flooded with autographs of the former Lakers star, and they are not all authentic.” Grad says he has seen items with Kobe's signature selling on eBay for up to $12,000.

He considers almost all of them fake, and that authentic items on eBay are now “rare exceptions”. Previous celebrity deaths that have caused a similar counterfeiting boom included that of singer Michael Jackson in 2009.

Image by Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA - Kobe Bryant, CC BY-SA 2.0

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