1. Home

Beware of 2009 Penny Scams!

By February 25, 2009

Follow me on:

The new 2009 pennies still aren't circulating anywhere, judging by the research I conducted yesterday. I called 21 banks around the country Tuesday afternoon, talking mostly to supervisory tellers and assistant bank managers (whoever handles the currency and coinage inventory), in an effort to discover whether any of them have seen the new Log Cabin pennies yet. None of the banking outlets, (which include a mix of national chains, regional credit unions, and local banks) had received the new pennies yet, as far as they knew.

Most banks are very aware of the situation, with customers asking about the new pennies every day. The banks know they probably won't be receiving whole 50-roll boxes of the new cents, but will likely get them mixed in with older pennies, either in whole rolls or totally mixed. I asked the banks whether they tended to get the new years' pennies early in the year every year, but most banks didn't even know!

The 2009 pennies that have gotten out so far are virtually all from two sources: (a) The Lincoln Cent launch event in Hodgenville, Kentucky, where 80 boxes (4,000 rolls) were distributed, and the Washington, D.C. area, where the U.S. Mint coin depots had some stock on launch day. Paul Hollis, a Louisiana coin dealer, got hold of an undisclosed number of rolls, but these are not for sale; he is giving them away in small numbers as part of his million penny promotion.

Because the number of coins that have reached the public is very small, but the number of people who want them is quite large, a lively business has emerged on eBay. Full rolls of 2009 pennies are currently closing at $20 to $40 each. Single coins (usually sold in 2's and 3's) are getting $2.50 to $9.95 each.

New Penny Scam #1

Unfortunately, a crop of dishonest sellers and outright scammers has emerged in between the legitimate dealers. The worst of these scammers, in my opinion, are the people who are pre-selling the 2009 pennies. Although some of these sellers have enough integrity to clearly state that they are pre-selling, many of them do not, hiding the pre-sale disclosure at the bottom of their auction terms or buried in a bunch of marketing drivel. (Pre-sale pennies are pennies being sold by people who do not even have possession of the coins yet. They sell based on the expectation that they might get some soon.)

Do not buy pre-sale pennies on eBay! It is a 100% no-win situation for you to do this! First of all, nobody has any guarantees about when, or even if, they will ever get any quantity of these coins to fill your order! By the time these sellers do get them, you'll probably be able to get them too because they'll be circulating by then! At the very least, enough of the pennies will be around that the prices will be much lower than they are today. (Most pre-sale auctions are closing for $20 per roll or more, plus shipping.)

Think about it - why would you want to let some seller you don't even know hold onto your money for up to 90 days, just in case he can get the coins at face value? If he can't get them, he refunds your money. BIG DEAL.

New Penny Scam #2

The second biggest new penny scam on eBay is perpetrated by the sellers who show a whole roll of pennies in their photos, but state in the text somewhere that you buying only 1 or 2 or 3 coins. If they wanted to represent their items honestly, why not show a photo of 1 or 2 or 3 pennies? If they really had the pennies to begin with, they could take a simple photo of them. If they don't have a camera, there are free pictures of the single penny on the U.S. Mint Web site. There is no reason to show a whole roll of coins when you are actually only selling 1, other than to deceive people who don't fully read the auction text. Some of these 2-coin auctions also had up to a $4.99 shipping charge!

New Penny Scam #3

Another big sucker play on eBay has to do with rolls of coins with postage stamps on them. Although I feel that paying $50 to $60 for a postally-canceled First Day of Issue roll of 50 pennies is foolish, at least you are getting what you think you are buying. But some sellers have taken to putting the new Lincoln Commemorative stamps on single rolls of the new pennies, and then claiming they got them at the Hodgenville event. The clear implication, by photo or by description, is that these rolls are First Day of Issue postally-canceled rolls, when in fact they're just regular old rolls of coins with a postage stamp stuck to the wrapper. Be careful of what you're bidding on!

Speaking of First Day of Issue, be aware that the post office uses hand-cancel rubber-stamps that can have the dates changed on them very easily. They are intentionally made this way so the postal workers can put the proper date on it each day. All it takes to stamp a roll of coins with Feb. 12, 2009 is a good friend who works for USPS, and maybe not even that. ;)

If you are going to buy a First Day of Issue box or roll on eBay, make sure that the postmark says both "Hodgenville, Kentucky" and "Feb. 12, 2009." I'm not an expert in these kinds of stamps, but some eBay sellers have claimed that only a certain black cancellation is the genuine, official First Day franking for the Hodgenville Post Office. Buyer beware!

Other Penny News

The U.S. Mint has confirmed that it will definitely sell the circulation-quality rolls of pennies on its Web site soon (and not through the Direct Ship Program, either.) The official I spoke to couldn't give me a time frame for the onset of these sales, but it will definitely happen, probably within the next couple of weeks. The price hasn't been determined yet, but I think it's a real sure bet that it will be quite a bit less than $20 a roll!

Comments

February 25, 2009 at 8:13 am
(1) Skeptic says:

I saw a TV seller getting 24.99 for two pennies certified 1st day issue. He also had a subscrition to buy all four isues at that price. What a rip-off.

February 25, 2009 at 8:53 am
(2) Mike says:

Kind of ironic that in an article about the worst kind of seller being a pre-seller there is a sponsored link directly underneath the article to a guy selling pre-sell pennies.

February 25, 2009 at 8:55 am
(3) Mike says:

Oh well, it’s gone now, it was to mikescoins.com, I get emails from him and have spoken to him on the phone and he seems like a good guy… it’s just funny.

February 25, 2009 at 9:05 am
(4) Les says:

I always enjoy your posts; I link back to them frequently, but they’re ‘cents’ not ‘pennies’. I know it’s a minor nit, but still… Keep up the great work.

February 25, 2009 at 9:47 am
(5) Steve says:

Or how about the box of new pennies on Ebay for $1525.00 (250375617155). This person just couldn’t wait.

February 25, 2009 at 9:51 am
(6) Doug says:

Susan, great colun, thnaks for working on this, it is a valuable service to all coin collectors. I am surprised you haven’t found anyone preselling certified MS70 cents.

February 25, 2009 at 10:00 am
(7) Pattammady says:

I bought two rolls of 2009 penny from the US Mint on 2/13/09 even exchange.
I do not know anything else.

February 25, 2009 at 10:06 am
(8) Liz says:

If you see a pre-sale listing on ebay for the 09 pennies, just report it to ebay (at bottom of listing) that it doesn’t meet the 30-day delivery time-frame for ebay pre-sales, since there is no release date set. Ebay will remove it.

February 25, 2009 at 10:42 am
(9) Wanda says:

I received a new penny in change from the store. Looks great!

February 25, 2009 at 11:32 am
(10) Armen says:

Great job Susan. You are always on top of things! I also called various banks and got similar responses. I even have a couple of friends at two different banks who indicated that no one is sure when they will be getting the new pennies.
I saw a bid of $164 for four rolls of pennies. Outragious!

February 25, 2009 at 12:19 pm
(11) Dave T says:

Man Ďo man I wish I had ten cases of these things that I could sell! If people are willing to pay that price for them then more power to the sellers. I do question the practice of pre-selling though. Most times it equates to a scam. Buyer beware! I agree that Ebay should remove these pre-sell listings.

Iím glad that the Mint will start selling these. If they were selling them from the beginning, the Ebayers would not be seeing these massive profits. Iím not blaming the Mint for that. Itís not their job to prevent price gouging on the open market.

Iíd like to know how some of the coin and PM dealers are able to obtain boxes and boxes of specific uncirculated coins (in all denominations) when for us itís a crap-shoot. Anyone have an answer?

Pattammady Ė You were able to buy the 09 pennies from the Mint??? Yeah I know theyíre technically Ďcentsí Les, (A British thing isnít it?) but ďA cent for your thoughts?ĒÖ just doesnít seem to ring. ;-)

February 25, 2009 at 12:35 pm
(12) Western Sage says:

Susan – There is one reason to purchase rolls of newly issued coins on eBay that you did not mention – at least this is why I do it (at reasonable prices below those charged by the U.S. Mint, I hasten to add). I live more than 1,000 miles west of Denver. There is a zero possibility that I will be able to purchase Philadelphia Mint rolls of any new coins at my bank at face value. There is a thriving business on eBay of sellers in the East selling to collectors in the West and vice versa. As long as the U.S. Mint places mint marks on its coins, this practice will continue to be a lucrative one for enterprising sellers on eBay.

February 25, 2009 at 3:00 pm
(13) Edward Roskup says:

Are you kidding ME?.I saw this posted on Ebay..Current Bid US $197.50

ATTENTION COIN COLLECTOR’S****** ****************************************MUST READ TO APPRECIATE THE 2009 LINCOLN, LOG CABIN REVERSE’S WORTH****************************************
ON FEB,12TH,2009 THE UNITED STATES MINT DROPPED BOXES FULL OF HISTORY, UPON A TOWN IN THE UNITED STATES

KENTUCKY’S MEMORIAL TOWN FOR ABRAHAM LINCOLN HODGENVILLE KENTUCKY ON FEB, 12TH, 2009 A CELBRATION / CEREMONY WAS HELD ON BEHALF OF OUR HISTORIC PRESIDENT (ABRAHAM LINCOLN) I ATTENDED THIS CEREMONY AND WAS ABLE TO OBTAIN 2 FULL BOXES OF THE
BRAND NEW, LINCOLN (HEAD) LOG CABIN (REVERSE) CENT.
SO I PRESENT AND, OFFER TO YOU! THIS BEAUTIFUL ROLL OF UNCIRCULATED TIGHTLY BANK RAPPED CENT’S, THIS SALE IS FOR 1 FULL NEW ROLL OF THIS NEWLY DESIGNED CENT’S AND IS DATE STAMPED FEB, 12TH 2009 HODGENVILLE KY ON COIN ROLL, THESE OFFER’S THAT YOU SEE ALL OVER EBAY ARE VERY LIMITED OFFER’S AS NO ONE KNOW’S IF THESE COINS WILL EVER CIRCULATE, AND EVEN IF THEY DO, YOU WILL NOT GET THE FIRST OF RELEASE’S WITHOUT GETTING THEM HERE AND NOW. PRICE’S ARE ON THE RISE AND BECOMING FEWER AND FURTHER BETWEEN, ONLY $5000.00 US DOLLARS WORTH OF THESE COINS WERE RELEASED ON THE DAY OF FEB,12TH 2009 SO THEY WILL SOON BE VERY HARD TO GET YOUR HANDS ON,

AND ILL POST AS B.I.N AS REQUESTED. SINGLES AVAILABLE AS WELL. DONT LET THIS DEAL PASS YOU BY IM LIMITED TO THE AMOUNT I CAN RELEASE DUE TO COLLECTING MYSELF FOR UPCOMING RELEASE’S WHY WAIT GET YOUR’S NOW!!! ALL SALES ARE FINAL NO RETURN’S, NO EXCEPTIONS!!! I WILL BE SURE THESE COINS ARE PROPERLY PROTECTED FROM DAMAGE WITH YOUR FREE SHIPPING (BOX)

February 25, 2009 at 3:41 pm
(14) Ken says:

I concur that there are a lot of scams going on. We had the privelage of attending the Hodgenville event on 2/12. Supplies were limited and we managed to obtain 140 rolls. To my knowledge there were less than a handful of people that had the foresight to get their rolls stamped and cancelled at the Post Office. I was one that did not think about going that far. I suspect now the majority of the rubber stamped items are from resellers of boxes that were offered by us and on ebay. It’s amazing how many are suddenly out there now.

February 25, 2009 at 5:57 pm
(15) Dave in Sebastopol, Ca says:

I got a roll of P’s off Ebay for $6.95 on 2/13/09 and now you can’t touch them for less than $30 – $49 a roll and about $5 a penny!
I have not been able to find D rolls anywhere that are not presale, When or where are these available? I have 3 D’s pennies coming from San Diego and that dealer WON’T tell me where he got them.
Where is a schedule for rest of the pennies designs that are being released, where can I find that?? ~Dave

February 25, 2009 at 6:12 pm
(16) Sheri says:

The new pennies are out in Houston, TX. I received two of them in change on Monday night. They are nice looking but are really light. At first I thought they were fake pennies.

February 25, 2009 at 7:12 pm
(17) Armen says:

Great job Susan. You are always on top of things. I saw four rolls of the new pennies bidding for $164. This is outrageous.

February 25, 2009 at 10:58 pm
(18) MrMan says:

I read in Coin World that Paul, the Louisiana coin dealer, didn’t get any 2009s for his million cent give away. Right now he’s got 1/2 million of 2008s and no 2009s.

February 28, 2009 at 12:42 am
(19) Henrik says:

Hi Susan,
The 2009 Lincoln pennies are indeed circulating in Texas. I was in transit today at the Houston International airport. I was paying for coffee and saw a bright penny on the floor. I picked it up and it was a 2009 P Lincoln cent!!!! The first one I got hold of and at

February 28, 2009 at 12:48 am
(20) Henrik says:

…… no cost. I think it will not be long for all of us to see these pennies in circulation.

February 28, 2009 at 1:41 am
(21) Susan Headley says:

Henrik,

Now there’s some real irony…getting your first much-sough-after 2009 penny because someone else discarded it! Congratulations on your good fortune!

Susan Headley
About.com Guide to Coins

February 28, 2009 at 8:17 am
(22) Henrik says:

Thank you Susan. Finding a coin in this manner is one of the most exciting thing for us collectors :) LOL

March 28, 2009 at 12:37 pm
(23) yoyomynameisjoeyo says:

Be patient, and don’t get ripped off. Keep your eyes peeled on your change and you’ll get some of the pennies. I got 2 on 3/27/09 in change at a Long John Silver’s.

March 31, 2009 at 10:13 pm
(24) l.a.montplaisir says:

A penny saved is a penny earned

May 20, 2009 at 12:18 pm
(25) KChip says:

I received three of the new pennies as change in Columbia, South Carolina a few weeks ago. Only looked at them because they were so clean. Nice suprise.

June 4, 2009 at 4:41 pm
(26) zohn says:

people are paying an arm and a leg for the pennies i wonder what they will pay when the copper ones come out in the mint sets.

June 7, 2009 at 7:15 pm
(27) J in NC says:

I Got one of these pennies in a transaction at the Service Station I work for!!!!! Its Very AWSOME!!!

June 13, 2009 at 2:25 pm
(28) David Fruhling says:

Anyone who will pay more than 50 cents for a roll of new pennies deserves to get burned. Fools, wait until they hit the banks and get them at face value. (gee, why didn’t I think of that?)

June 23, 2009 at 12:50 am
(29) chuck says:

I just brought 2 rolls at a flee market in maryland for only 4 $ a roll broke one open to make shure they were not ripping me off and they wasn’t its called who ever wants to know Palaski flee market off of rout 40! oh and hes only selling denvers!

July 11, 2009 at 6:21 pm
(30) ron k. says:

I received a new formative years penny in change from CVS. I asked if I could “trade” for more. The clerk gave me 25 more for a quarter. 7/11/09

August 4, 2009 at 9:32 pm
(31) Shelby J says:

lol I have both (cabin & log) of those new coins! I received 4 of them as change in Circleville Ohio. I now have a toatl of 15 them!

September 24, 2009 at 5:01 pm
(32) Tyler Weigum says:

Why do we need a new pennie

October 27, 2009 at 1:55 pm
(33) Tim Turner says:

I am a total novice. My brother-in-law gave me the 2009 USMint Uncirculated Coin Set for Philadelphia and Denver. My question – Why do the Denver pennies have the mint mark (D) below the 2009, but the Philadelphia pennies have nothing?

December 3, 2009 at 8:16 pm
(34) Angela Mccloud says:

My 2009 penny was checked and is an erorr coin. This 2009 penny look like a wheat penny; but have the same day, and man shitting on the log like the shinny ones. NO Scam Here.

February 12, 2010 at 6:15 pm
(35) zev michaels says:

The roll of pennies are from the Denver mint which they claim is very rare. The stamps they place on theoutdie are unused and also collector’s items. The claim is that the 4 set of stamps are now out of print and worth $60.

March 21, 2010 at 6:17 pm
(36) Paul Sullivan says:

Hi
The complete set of 8 coins both mints sell here in Ottawa Canada for $2.00. Thats a far cry from $5.00 per coin.

March 27, 2010 at 9:59 am
(37) Coin Collector1 says:

The 2009 pennies were only made for 1-2 months

Coin Collector1

March 30, 2010 at 3:28 pm
(38) Matt says:

Beware of one ebay scammer nammed siddingguy49. he’s one of these kind of people who had a deceptively worded listing to get people to think they were buying rolls when in fact it was just 2 pennies.

September 30, 2010 at 3:08 pm
(39) Angela Mccloud says:

Hi, i Angela Mccloud do have The new 2009 and 2010 pennies and i do have a few 2009 Copper ( Dark ) Log Cabin Pennies. They are out ” The New 2009 and 2010 Pennies “. You can call me also at 585-285-6168. Thank You and have a good one.

September 30, 2010 at 3:29 pm
(40) Angela Mccloud says:

Angela Mccloud. Also my 2009/ 2010 pennies i didn’t buy; i received from stores. I’ve been receiving these pennies every since 2009 and the 2010 received in 2010. When i saw the Dark color 2009 Log Cabin pennies i felt the need to keep just like some other pennies i have. I have some pennies look Gold, and Yellow; Dated from 1945 to 2010. The Dark and Yellow looking pennies i have questions about and the 1996 ” The 6 ” up High above the 9. My 1992′s the 2 is so small. My 1945 penny have ” two ll’s ” in LIBERTY and no mint mark. I have some error wheat pennies. I have a 1999 penny 1/2 Silver looking. 1970 and 1972 pennies Yellow looking with S on it. Canada Pennies look like the ” The Canada Gold penny ” same image Front and Back; but a small penny with KG also on Back LOL. No Dealers buying Right now i see or maybe their looking for only the 1943 Silve which my Brother have and keep holding on too LOL; Oh, i have alot of 1969 pennies some with no mint mark. Since no one buying i’ll keep. Is a 1940 Nickel any value? Thank you and have a good one About Coins.com.

October 24, 2010 at 9:28 pm
(41) Angela Mccloud says:

I see i misspelled some words. Need my glasses on LOL and i want to stop taking this medication. I think the medication have alot todo with my vision. Have a good one every one.

October 26, 2010 at 4:30 pm
(42) Heidi Dunlap says:

Hi guess what? I found one just changing over the money to a different purse and thot it was fake and now I am really happy that I FOUND ONE!!! YEAH!!

I also have one of those really rare 1923′s I love coins…..lol
Congrats to you all.

heidi

January 25, 2011 at 12:33 am
(43) Angela Mccloud says:

I Angela have a 1999 half Silver penny; please email me to let me know the value. Thank you.

January 25, 2011 at 12:34 am
(44) Angela Mccloud says:

My 1999 half Silver penny is not a Scam.

Leave a Comment


Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.