How to Recognize Fake Pokemon Card – Counterfeit vs. Real, Explained

There’s nothing worse in this world than getting scammed out of your money, and unfortunately, we see this every day...
How to Spot a Fake Pokemon Trading Card
Image: Pokemon Company

There’s nothing worse in this world than getting scammed out of your money, and unfortunately, we see this every day in all types of business. One prominent scam is fake Pokemon cards, where the seller will claim it’s a “rare” card, but it is indeed printed or copied.

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The good news is that you can protect yourself from one of these scams by learning how to spot a fake Pokemon card from a real one. This guide will cover everything you need to know about the differences between counterfeit and real Pokemon cards.

Differences Between a Fake and Real Pokemon Card

Whether you are a new Pokemon card collector or have been collecting them your whole life, knowing how to spot counterfeit cards is essential. We have compiled all the ways to spot a fake card in the following sections.

Examine the Back of the Card

The first step in spotting a counterfeit Pokemon Card is to compare the back of the card with one you know is authentic. They should be nearly identical; if they aren’t, you may have a fake on your hands. Some things to look out for include:

  • Faded colors.
  • The outer blue border is bleeding into the rest of the card. (The blue border should be bold and clear).
  • There is no accent over the ‘e’ in Pokemon.
  • Are there any other differences from your authentic card?

If any of the bullet points above ring true for you, it may be time to get the card inspected by Pokemon Company.

Read the Card

Another step in spotting a fake Pokemon Card is reading all the text on the front and back. You want to check for spelling errors or stats that don’t match up with real Pokemon Cards. For example, if there is an attack move that you have never heard of or an attack power is ridiculously high, there is a chance that the card is fake. Also, if the HP is higher than 340, then it is a fake, considering 340 is the highest amount of HP for any Pokemon Card.

Here is all you should look out for when reading the card in question:

  • Spelling errors.
  • Grammatical errors. 
  • Missing accents over letters.
  • Too high attack power and HP.
  • Attack moves that don’t exist.

Related: Will the eBay Authentication Service for Rare Pokemon Cards Work? Is it Reliable?

Compare the Weight and Size

Lastly, you should test the card with an authentic card and see if it feels different. Usually, fake cards feel lighter than real cards, can sometimes be smaller, and also have the chance to be transparent when held up to a light. If any of those points ring true, you may have a fake on your hands.

Additionally, bend the card carefully (not too hard to ruin it). If the card bends with ease, then it’s most likely fake. Real Pokemon Cards are not flimsy and are high quality, so bending them should require more pressure.

What to Do if You Have a Fake Pokemon Card

The best way to know for a fact that your card is a fake is by contacting the Pokemon Company. Head to the Pokemon Company website attached to this guide and reach out with an image of your card, and hopefully, they get back to you with an answer. 

I recommend you avoid purchasing Pokemon cards from Craigslist, eBay, or Amazon sellers, as this increases your chances of receiving a fake card, considering these websites have had scammers in the past. Always buy from trusted vendors instead.

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Author
Christian Bognar
Christian has been a writer of Attack of the Fanboy for over a year and has covered Shadows of Rose, Lords of the Fallen, Remnant 2, Lies of P, and more; his favorite genre is Survival Horror. He has a business degree but felt the need to take his love for video games to the gaming community. Outside of writing, you can find him listening to all types of podcasts, especially Always Sunny Podcast and Morbid True Crime.