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As people all over the world continue to mourn the passing of Kobe Bryant, scammers are trying to capitalize on his death.

Counterfeit Kobe signatures are popping up all over the internet as emotional fans try to get a piece of memorabilia from his playing days.

“The volume of stuff we’ve seen has obviously increased and the stuff that I’m seeing in online auctions, specifically eBay has really kind of blown me away the last few days in terms of just straight up fakes,” said Steve Grad, principal authenticator for Beckett Authentication Services.

During his career, Grad worked to confirm the identity of thousands of Kobe Bryant signatures on cards, jerseys, basketballs and other memorabilia.

“You know he’s limited his name in terms of his autograph,” Grad said.”It used to be Kobe Bryant at one time, then he went to Kobe with his number 8, and then he also went to KB.”

Since Bryant’s death he’s seen items with Kobe’s signature selling on eBay for 5, 10, even $12,000, well more than just a week ago, almost all of them fake. Right now, Grad says authentic signatures on eBay are rare exceptions.

“And it seems like people are getting caught up too much in this euphoria and there’s only one other time in my life that I saw something like this happen and it was in 2009 when Michael Jackson passed away. And people just kind of lose their inhibition for spending money, they all just buy anything.”

Victims often lose a lot more than their money. Steve Cyrkin at Autograph Live, a forgery watchdog group, says getting a fake can taint cherished memories for fans.

“They’re heartbroken when they find out that the piece is fake,” Cyrkin said.”And then every time they think of Kobe, they’ll think they got screwed.”

We reached out to eBay for comment on this story, but they did not respond. But Cyrkin says there are things you can do to protect yourself if you have your heart set on getting a piece of memorabilia now.

“PayPal is the best way to go because if you use regular PayPal, not their friends and family, you have full buyer protection.”

Cyrkin and Grad both say you can also pay $10 to $15 to have a reputable authentication service validate an item before you decide to buy. And if you’re going to spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on an item, the extra few dollars can be worth the peace of mind.