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Spotting Counterfeit Pokémon Cards

Here is a guide on how to identify and check for characteristics of fake Pokémon TCG cards. These are the features we tend to look for when we encounter possible counterfeit cards.

It is important to note that counterfeits have been improving and some of these methods may not be dependable in the future. Comparing your cards to known authentic ones and being familiar with card features is always the best way to spot fakes.

Loupe Test

A loupe is always a key tool when checking for collector items’ authenticity and we always have one handy when sorting our cards.

  • Authentic Pokémon card text, symbols and trademark is clean and crisp. It is important to check all of these features as some fakes can have crisp text but blurry symbols.


Font & Spelling

Compare your card with a known authentic Pokémon card and if you notice it has a different font, it will more than likely be a fake. It is also important to check and compare the cards’ spelling with another online. (Please note that sometimes misprints can occur in production so keep a lookout for those too!)

Comparing the back.

  • Some fakes have evidence of being punched out of a card sheet.
  • Fakes are usually discoloured at the back
There is only one real card amongst these fakes
Counterfeiters tend to fail to replicate the area below the “N” of “Pokémon”. Fakes will usually look purple or be a solid colour.

Other Common Signs:

  • Some holographic fakes use wrong holographic or no holographic on cards that should be (for example: EX cards).
  • Authentic cards have a black core.
  • Authentic Pokémon Full art/Hyper rare cards have texture.
  • Fakes tend to be glossier than authentic cards.
  • “Pokemon” instead of “Pokémon”​
  • Price is too good to be true.


Fake Sealed Products

Fake booster boxes are easy to spot. Here are some signs it is likely fake.

  • They do not have an authentic seal with the Pokémon logo around it.
  • They use flimsy cardboard.
  • Incorrect, missing or misspelt information.
  • Low quality or incorrect images.

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