"Hunger Games" Cast Among 2013's "Most Dangerous Autographs," Experts Warn

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Several cast members of "The Hunger Games" movies are among the current and yesteryear celebrities and sports stars, such as Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Babe Ruth and Yasiel Puig, whose autographs are frequently forged, according to the 2013 "Most Dangerous Autographs" list compiled by PSA/DNA Authentication Services.

If our rejection rate for a particular autograph approaches 50 percent, then you can only imagine how high the percentage of forgeries actually might be in the overall marketplace.

Buying the purported autograph of a "Hunger Games" star from a stranger could leave an empty feeling in both your stomach and wallet.

There's probably less than a 50-50 chance autographs offered in the marketplace of many current and former entertainment celebrities and sports stars are genuine, according to the annual year-end report by PSA/DNA Authentication Services (http://www.psadna.com) of Newport Beach, California, the world's largest third-party autograph and memorabilia authentication service.

PSA/DNA's just-issued list of "Most Dangerous Autographs of 2013" (http://www.psacard.com/MostDangerousAutographs) includes for the first time a warning about fake signatures of cast members from the popular "The Hunger Games" films. Their autographs now join the listing with other familiar names, such as Elvis Presley, The Beatles and Neil Armstrong, who have appeared on previous PSA/DNA buyer-beware consumer advisories because of widespread forgeries of celebrities' signatures.

"Due to the overwhelming popularity of 'The Hunger Games' films, items signed by key cast members such as Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth have been selling for strong numbers in the marketplace, and that has enticed forgers into the fold," warns Joe Orlando, President of PSA/DNA, a division of Collectors Universe, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLCT).

Genuine, individual autographs of the cast members recently have been selling in the range of $125 to $250 each, and autographed "Hunger Games" movie posters can sell for $1,000 or more, according to PSA/DNA.

"There are a lot so-called 'deals' for autographs that can be found online, at local flea markets and even at some collectibles conventions, but most of those 'deals' are simply too good to be true. Genuine autographs do not often sell for a huge discount," cautions Orlando.

"Whether it's the signature of a famous sports hero, an entertainment star or an important historical figure, it's important that consumers buy from reputable sellers who use credible, expert third-party authentication."

In 2013 PSA/DNA experts evaluated over 400,000 autographs submitted by collectors and dealers worldwide.     

"Unfortunately, just as in past years, a large portion of them were forgeries. In fact, it's not uncommon for us to reject 50 percent or more of the signatures submitted to our company, especially when it comes to the more prominent names," explained PSA/DNA authenticator Steve Grad who is one of the featured experts on the popular television series, "Pawn Stars."

According to PSA/DNA, the ten "most dangerous" autographs of entertainment and historical figures the past year were:

    1) Elvis Presley
    2) The Beatles
    3) Neil Armstrong
    4) John F. Kennedy
    5) Michael Jackson
    6) Marilyn Monroe
    7) Jim Morrison
    8) Jimi Hendrix
    9) The Rolling Stones
     10) The Hunger Games cast    

According to PSA/DNA, the ten "most dangerous" sports stars' autographs in 2013 were:

    1) Babe Ruth
    2) Lou Gehrig
    3) Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio
    4) Michael Jordan
    5) Yasiel Puig
    6) Muhammad Ali
    7) Tiger Woods
    8) Derek Jeter
    9) Wayne Gretzky
     10) LeBron James

"PSA/DNA does not often receive obvious forgeries for evaluation. So, if our rejection rate for a particular autograph approaches 50 percent, then you can only imagine how high the percentage of forgeries actually might be in the overall marketplace," cautioned Orlando.

The complete PSA/DNA report on the Ten Most Dangerous Autographs of 2013, including other frequently-encountered forgeries as well as the average, current marketplace prices for genuine autographs, is available free online at http://www.psacard.com/MostDangerousAutographs.

The public can see and compare hundreds of genuine sports, historical and entertainment autographs free online at http://www.PSAAutographFacts.com, including examples of how a person's signature may change over the years.

"With the proper precautions and education, collectors can participate in a safe hobby environment and avoid becoming prey for unscrupulous sellers," said Orlando.

Since 1991, PSA experts have examined and certified more than 20 million trading cards, autographs and other entertainment and sports memorabilia with an estimated cumulative value of more than $1 billion.

For additional information, contact PSA/DNA Authentication Services at (800) 325-1121. Email: info(at)psadna(dot)com. Online: http://www.psadna.com.

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