A Letter from Steven R. Eichenbaum, CEO of the Certified Collectibles Group

Posted on 2/19/2024

The Certified Collectibles Group aggressively pursues bad actors who seek to defraud us and the collecting community.

Dear friends,

The Certified Collectibles Group and our companies — NGC, PMG, CGC and ASG — exist to protect the collecting community from counterfeit, overgraded and otherwise misrepresented collectibles. I like to say that we are the “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval” in the collectibles world.

Our position as the hobby’s first line of defense sometimes makes us a target for bad actors who try to defraud us or misappropriate the trust that we have built with our community. These scammers are persistent, and we are in a constant battle to prevent and detect fraud, such as counterfeiting or tampering with our holders.

CCG has certified more than 85 million collectibles since 1987, including more than 10 million in 2023 alone. Counterfeit and tampered-with holders represent a tiny fraction of the holders in the marketplace, but even one is unacceptable to us. We continue to pursue an aggressive, multi-faceted strategy to combat this scourge.

We take a number of defensive measures, such as imaging all collectibles, testing and upgrading the seals on our holders, releasing new high-security holograms and adding variable QR codes, with more to come. We also go on the offense and aggressively pursue bad actors, big and small, across the globe. We will keep the community informed of all of these developments, and today I’d like to give you an update on our legal efforts.

In Europe, an individual falsely claimed that he did not receive a return submission of banknotes and tried to recover more than € 100,000 from us. Our team conducted an intensive investigation and determined that he not only received the package but had also distributed many of the banknotes. After tracing these notes back to him, we notified law enforcement in Germany, where we have an office in Munich; in Austria, where the banknotes were delivered; and Turkey, where the individual lives. Austrian authorities took up the case, and two weeks ago the individual was convicted of fraud and sentenced to 10 months in prison.

Another incident involved two former employees, one of whom stole comic books from CGC submissions. They had these stolen books, along with some of their own books, encapsulated in CGC Comics holders, and then smuggled the books out of our facility to sell through various marketplaces. We swiftly filed a lawsuit against them and have already been granted a temporary restraining order while we pursue further actions, including damages.

We have also filed a lawsuit against an individual and his partner who tampered with CGC comic book holders to replace higher-graded comic books with lower-graded comic books of the same type. We are keeping the community updated on comic books impacted by this incident here. On February 13, 2024, we obtained a Preliminary Injunction Order prohibiting the defendant from distributing, circulating, selling, marketing, altering, removing — basically anything related to CGC-graded books — pending the final hearing and ruling in the case. We are seeking further remedies from the court, including damages

We will not tolerate acts of fraud against our community, and we will not rest until justice is served. We have been successful in the past. For example, last year, we advantageously settled a lawsuit against Richard Albright, who perpetrated a coin swapping scheme with NGC holders. He was ordered to report all collectibles that may have been impacted by his scheme, surrender all of his electronic devices during the investigation, cooperate with efforts to reimburse consumers and pay damages.

We recognize that fighting fraud that has already occurred is only one half of the equation to solve for a protected, confident and whole community. Staying ahead of the bad actors is absolutely essential to ensure these types of incidents do not continue to happen, and we will take the steps necessary to enhance the security of our services and facilities. We have a comprehensive initiative to make continual, meaningful updates to the security of our products, and will share updates as they are available.

Collectors and dealers can protect themselves from fraud in a number of ways:

  • Always look up a collectible in our free Verification Certification tool on the homepage of our websites. All collectibles are now being imaged in high-resolution, and you can compare the images of your collectible to the images that we took.
  • Buy from CCG Authorized Dealers, Official Submission Centers or Strategic Partners. You can look them up using the free Dealer Locator on our website.
  • Choose online marketplaces that offer buyer protection, such as eBay. Do your research and exercise common sense. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

If you suspect fraud, please report it immediately to ReportFraud@CollectiblesGroup.com.

We are committed to protecting our community from fraudsters and anyone else who seeks to take advantage of collectors. We are also committed to being transparent with all of you and sharing information about what we are doing for you. Your passion is our passion.


Steven R. Eichenbaum Signature

Steven R. Eichenbaum

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