More counterfeits of modern Canadian stamps emerge

By Mirko Zatka

It seems the flood of counterfeit postage stamps that keeps showing up in certain countries has finally, and again, impacted Canadian postage stamps.  While Canadian stamps have been counterfeited a number of times in the 2000’s, these have mostly been first-class (‘P’) values in booklets of 10.

In approximately 2021, two counterfeits were found from the 2020 Far and Wide coil series (‘P’ and $1.30 / #3212-6, #3217), produced in China. They were relatively crude in terms of production quality, and readily discernible as fakes.

In January, 2024, several new counterfeits showed up on several major retail and auction websites that, among other items, also offer stamps from private sellers. The new counterfeits vary in face value and are all once again being produced in China to defraud Canada Post (sold at significant discounts off face value).

For the first time, several souvenir sheets and a commemorative issue have been included. As best as I can determine, all of these are being sent directly from China and eventually through Canada Post, and not sold through small variety stores in larger cities as had often been the practice in the past.

The 2020 Far and Wide definitive coil series is again included in the new forgeries – this time all four values to $2.71 (#3219).  Unlike previous versions, the stamps now closely duplicate their genuine counterparts: they are phosphor tagged (the $1.30 value is all-over tagged in the white margins; others just have four-sided tagging bars), very precisely die-cut (10.75 ‘perforation’ units vs. 8.1 – 8.5 units on the genuine stamps), with high image quality. In addition, the font type used in the gutter text is identical to the genuine stamps, the stamps have the grey CANADA security underprint, and the backing paper has a number every five stamps to indicate how many remain on the roll, among other similarities. The rolls are also individually shrink-wrapped, which is not the case with genuine Canada Post coil rolls. This is likely due to the stamps not showing ‘nibs’ that allow them on genuine rolls to remain lightly attached to each other while on the roll. The original 2021 ‘P’ (Figure 1)and $1.30 counterfeits (Figure 2) did not have nibs or shrink-wrapping, and the stamps peeled very easily off the roll, even in the shipping packages.

The $1.94 counterfeit coil also exists with the design inverted relative to normal, but I have only seen a scan of these.

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