Forged German Treasure Banknotes

This page started May 28, 2008

Final update: April 24, 2009

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 (  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


  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


25 Kran on 10 Mark  X 2 pieces E160046, E1997571 $78.65
    L.Nr 2836219  


  T-2122476 and G419693  


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


  Q2111656 $109.15


  Q2546128 $300.00


  M1884538 and C2716458  


  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


  F.6168204 $71.00


  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


  3707078 $750.00
350056632980 Set of 5   $332.00

These lots were among the first group reported

to eBay in November 2007. 


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.


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