How To Spot Fake Patch Autos

April 2, 2022

You can’t always believe what you see. The words are ringing true more and more recently as fake patch autographs are becoming a legitimate threat to collectors. after bringing you guides to forged autos and fake slabs, Cardlines is continuing its quest to protect our readers. Therefore, we have the information you need on how to spot fake patch autos. 

While RPAs are beautiful cards, they’re apparently a lot easier to fake than the Prizm technology behind Prizm, Optic, and the rest of Panini’s opti-chrome lineup.

Here’s what you need to know.

What Are Patch Autos?

Patch autos and Rookie Patch Autos (RPAs) are some of the most popular cards on the planet. These cards are adorned with a patch and an autograph, as their name implies.

At a very basic level, the difference between a patch and an ordinary jersey piece is that the patch comes from a “patch” sewn onto the jersey. That could be the player’s number, name, or sometimes even the stripes.

Pair that with a nice autograph, and you have one of the most desirable cards collectors can chase.

What Are Fake Patch Autos?

How can you fake a patch autograph?

The most common thing we’re seeing right now is scammers swapping out the jersey piece for a patch on real cards.

In other words, they’ll get a jersey card (or jersey auto) and pull out the jersey. Next, they will somehow work a piece of patch back into the hole.

Here’s a great example from a thread on Blowout cards. The card is a Michael Jordan jersey autograph from Exquisite that has the piece of jersey swapped out for a Bulls logo. The craziest part? It’s been graded an 8.5 by BGS, who authenticates cards as they grade them.

So how do we know it’s fake? The first big tell is that even for a brand like Exquisite, a card numbered as high as 100 is very unlikely to have such a prime patch.

But the real detective work comes from @geoffyb, who explained the card says the jersey is “game-worn,” and the jerseys in question didn’t have the Bulls logo on them.

READ: Michael Jordan fake jersey was valued at over $1 million

The biggest mystery is this: if you had a Jordan Exquisite auto /100, why would you risk damaging the card by swapping out the patch? It’s worth more than a new truck, anyway.

So mysteries will never be answered.

But for more fake patches, here’s a thread that identifies several listed on eBay. While the listings are expired by this point, the logic is what you should take note of: “He never wore this logo.” “This is supposed to be a patch, not a jersey.”

How To Spot Fake Patch Autos: Which Cards Are Most Faked

People who counterfeit money only fake big bills they believe are worth the time and effort to fake (spoiler: it’s never worth it).

The same applies to faking patches. The patches reported as fake – at least the ones people are identifying– are all high-profile Hall of Fame players. There’s no market for swapping out the patch in an RPA of a player who averages 8 points during a three-year stint in the league.

When buying a big-name, big-money patch card, be on extra high alert.

Want a real Michael Jordan patch auto? Check them out on eBay. 

How To Spot Fake Patch Autos: The Steps

Several old adages make sense here:

“If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.”

“Trust your gut.”

“Think before you buy.”

And more.

The point? Whether you’re a rookie in collecting or Hall-of-Fame-bound, you can probably rely on your intuition when encountering fake patches.

If you encounter a card with a suspiciously prime-looking patch – especially a card numbered to anything more than maybe 10 – then do your due diligence. Here are 4 easy ways to check the authenticity of a card.

  • Ask your questions.
  • Do your research.
  • Find other cards from the set and compare them.
  • Phone a friend.

There are plenty of ways to test cards that you think are fake, and then, if you’re still having doubts, don’t buy them. It’s that simple. There’s nothing worse than buying a card you believe to be authentic only to find it’s been altered or reprinted. Trust me – I ended up on the wrong end of a vintage reprint in my early collecting days.

Be smart, use your head, and always feel confident before buying.

Blowout Forums members Exquisite074, believes this Dennis Rodman is a fake.

Bottomline On How To Spot Fake Patch Autos

Sadly, I had to write this article – sad that people are desperate (and dumb) enough to deface cards and fake the patches in hopes of boosting the value.

But unfortunately, that’s where we’re at right now. And it would be equally as sad for Cardline readers to fall victim to one of these fake patches.

So, as always, we’ve got your back. We want to invest in the hobby to be fun and lucrative, so keep coming to for all the need-to-know that you need to know.

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