Forged German Treasure Banknotes

This page started May 28, 2008

Final update: April 24, 2009

March 2012 (update).

I have received e-mails from collectors who are following Farbod*’s auctions on eBay and I am told eBay has expelled him!  I had to wait a few weeks to be sure, as in the past, through his high level eBay contacts, he has been able to come back after only a week or two of suspension.

It looks he is completely gone.  A quick advanced search on eBay for Seller ID: farbod* produces no result, the last Feedback he has received is several months ago.  It is safe to conclude that Farbod* is gone from eBay and we won’t see more forged banknotes.  However, the damage is done, for almost 4 years he has sold forged German Banknotes through eBay, and it is estimated that some 8000 notes have been purchased by innocent collectors.  It will be nice to see how many of these forged notes will show up at the upcoming International Memphis Paper Money Show this June.

Meantime, being a whistleblower and constantly writing to eBay and PayPal for allowing farbod* to sell forged currency, as well as informing the collectors to be aware of him had negative consequences for me!

In September 2011, eBay closed my both accounts:  ArmenStamp” with over 2400 Feedbacks and 11 years of history with eBay, and the newly opened eBay ID of “99-Cent-Stamps” which was opened 2 years ago to sell low value stamps.  Naturally PayPal has also closed my accounts.   While I continue communicating with eBay and PayPal, the only reply I get is the standard pre-written computer generated e-mails:

Hello Armen Hovsepian,

For the safety and security of the PayPal network, we often review accounts for potential risks. After reviewing your account, we have decided to close it because of security issues.   We are making every effort to minimize any disruption to your business.

So far I have not been able to find out what “security” and “risks” they refer to and how comes my business was no risk for 11 years, until I started complaining, writing to IBNS, and mobilizing collectors against this seller of forged banknotes! 

 

Naturally I have removed PayPal payment option from my 4 websites of:   www.ArmenianStamps.com  www.MEBanknotes.com   www.99CentStamps.com   and www.StampsofIran.com   and replaced by Moneybookers.  Our regular clients can continue payment by credit card (through our secure websites), personal checks and Money Orders.  We are also moving several thousand items to Delcampe under seller ID:  “ArmenStamp”,  99CentStamps” and  MEBanknotes  and encourage our clients to visit www.Delcampe.com

 

 

Since mid 2007, eBay seller "farbod*"  (the * is part of user ID) has flooded the market with counterfeit WWI German Treasury notes overprinted for use in Iran  (Pick M1-M5).  As a reference to collectors who may not be specializing in this area, we have decided to start documenting these forged banknotes by listing the eBay number, Serial number, and other related info.  Needless to say that in spite of two official letters to eBay, and hundreds of e-mails by many many collectors who have fallen victim, no action has been taken by eBay yet.

If you have bought one of these forged German notes through eBay, or if you have further info please contact me (info@MEbanknotes.com).  I am aware of a few collectors who have received compensation from PayPal, and at least one person who, with affidavit from others, is taking legal action at Texas court.  However, the wheels of justice are very slow and such legal actions may take years, in the meantime more and more forged banknotes are being listed on eBay on a weekly basis and purchased by innocent collectors who are unaware of the facts.

Please note:  As a collector and dealer specializing in the banknotes of the Middle East, all we attempt to do is to  document and list the specifics of these forged banknotes.  Years from now when all is said and done, and the main source of distribution is shut down, there will be thousands of forged banknotes exchanging hands at Paper Money Shows and Auctions,   It is time to document them now.

March 2009
A Germany collector who has been following these fake banknotes for over a year has assembled a very interesting and useful list.  With his permission we are attaching the 5 links to this website.  He writes:
       "Since a long time I am watching the development with growing concern. I collected the serial numbers of fake bills. The listings are attached to this email. As it turned out, many bills have been sold more than once on eBay. I hope I could contribute some new information to your web page."

 

March 25, 2009
It is a great relief to inform all the collectors that FINALLY eBay has expelled farbod*.

This is due to continual efforts by one collector who was determined to put an end to farobd*'s forgery business.  Our sincere thanks to him, to the court in Texas, the USPS Fraud Department, and to DFW Detectives. 

Regretfully it took eBay over a year to put an end to this fraud business, which affected thousands of collectors.

We close with the most recent e-mail received from a collector:

     "In 2007 I purchased two items from this individual

      5 Toman on 20 German Mark  Item # 180188041788 for $146.94

      and 250 Toman on 1000 Mark Pair item# 180188041998 for $1845.20"

 

April 20, 2009

 

With blessings from eBay "farbod*" is back in business selling more counterfeit banknotes!

  Click to read more

 

 

eBay lot #

Description

Serial #

Sold for

 

12.5 Kran overprint on  5 Mark

 

 

180241948090

 

Q396750

$102.50

180244287844

 

S 870973

$80.00

180246665424

 

R 822426

$52.00

350087693583

 

R132549

$43.00

180272993940

 

Z692443

$82.01

#350146945454

 

B1303455

$400.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

25 Kran overprint on 10 Mark

 

 

180241948120

 

B 1273561

$ 99.66

180246665521

 

R 1900537

$46.00

350066129681

 

L 2940744

$51.00

350087693643

 

U 2715962

$52.00

180272994064

 

C2186510

$45.00

400021038201

25 Kran on 10 Mark  X 2 pieces

E160046, E1997571

$78.65

 

 

L.Nr 2836219

 

 

 

S.Nr2969484

 

400023663859

 

T-2122476 and G419693

 

400023664029

 

N-2992820

 

400022108204

 

R.Nr 2479232

$46.00

400022108138

 

P1501360 and L2295027

$61.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Toman on 20 Mark

 

 

350059207930

 

L 6080892 (under print A)

$100.00

350056630290

 

K 3729602 (under print N)

$26.00

350061469729

 

Q 3385685

$40.00

180246665694

 

J 5366710

$55.55

180249184512

 

P0564228

$41.00

180272992687

 

D8849458

$52.00

350087693690

 

O3348685

$42.00

400021039277

 

Q2111656

$109.15

350146945195

 

Q2546128

$300.00

 

 

G-2404253

 

 

 

M-4230868

 

 

 

M.2190662

 

400023663937

 

M1884538 and C2716458

 

350149027369

 

K6110123

$46.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

25 Toman on 100 Mark

 

 

180239576638

 

B 9261070

$107.50

350061473569

 

E 3170503

$102.50

180246665770

 

B 8864581

$99.00

350066129860

 

E8911197

$113.61

350087693752

 

B9678439

102.50

180272994449

 

B7978142

$77.00

Sold a few months ago

 

D5546354

$400.00

 

eBay #350146945084

 

D9310581

$500.00

 

 

1379066

 

 

 

D.2062873

 

400022108306

 

F.6168204

$71.00

350147179922

 

D.6467849

$115.15

 

 

 

 

 

 

250 Toman on 1000 Mark

 

 

350061472534

 

1959976A

$246.50

180246665599

 

1224390A

$242.50

350066129735

 

1766101A

$232.50

Sold a few months ago

 

Nr 4945651N

$1250.00

350146944610

 

3707078

$750.00

 

 

1915547

 

 

 

1702636

 

350056632980

Set of 5

 

$332.00

 

 

D2062873

 

 

 

Nr0195073

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

170131484474

These lots were among the first group reported

to eBay in November 2007. 

 

 

170139363949

 

 

170139365807

 

 

170139379346

 

 

170133546930

 

 

170131486956

 

 

170139491942

 

 

170133548875

 

 

170165935190

 

 

170170880353

 

 

170161295287

 

 

170161295319

 

 

 

 

 

 

What we have listed here is maybe 1% of the forged banknotes which have been listed on eBay in the past year.  There is no way we can list everything.

 

For your information:

The "Niedermayer" notes, or better known as "German WWI notes overprinted for use in Iran", come in five denominations:

12.5 Kran

   25 Kran

     5 Toman

   25 Toman

 250 Toman

The most common of these five German overprinted notes is the 5 Toman.  A genuine note in F-VF condition should fetch $300-$600.  The same note in AU-UNC could bring close to $1000.00 if not more.

Next come the 12.5 and 25 Kran (the two low denominations), these two are far more scarce and a price of $1500 for an UNC will not be surprising.

The 25 and 250 tomans (the two highest denominations) have all been redeemed, according to the archives of the German Bank and documentation published in IBNS Journal.  Only one of each with Zero Serial number (Specimen) are available in German War Museum.  If you like to receive a link to pdf format file of "Niedermayer" notes article published in IBNS 1988 Volume 27 Journal, send me an e-mail.  Thanks.

 

Back to the Main Website