Illegal stamps have been defined by the
General Meeting of the AMDP (Worldwide Association for Philately
Expansion), during its second meeting (October 6, 2000) as illegal
issues by territories having no right in issuing stamps, or forged
issues produced by defrauders in the name of an authority having the
right to issue stamps, with the intention of cheating collectors. Examples
- a typicel example is the "omnibus" set Bénin/Congo/Timor.
The U.P.U. (Universal
Postal Union) fights these pirate issues and regularly publishes related circulars. That is also the reason for the creation of the WNS, the authentic postal stamps numbering system of the U.P.U. members.
How to recognize forged stamps?
The most difficult when a stamp is produced is to make a regular
perforation, mainly in the stamps corners. Harrow perforations or comb
ones need expensive hardware and are not profitable for the
forgers. They prefer use perforation in line, from which result these
shifts in the corners:
You can see
very well on the above sheet the shift of the perforations in the
corners of the stamp. Assuming that the Tanzania official stamps do not
have this problem, it can be concluded that this shhet is false.
When the postal administration has on another hand an official
philatelic web site, you can go to this site to check the legal issues
(for exampe, Tanzania web site is: http://www.posta.co.tz/philindex.htm).
If the country has a philatelic website, a link is put on its postal
administration logo at the top of the page dedicated to this country,
as for example:
And finally, auction sites like for example Delcampe try to survey this kind of stamps, so that they are clearly identified as cinderellas during the sales process.