Since its creation in 2000, Stones7.com has been striving to help the collector in distinguishing the real from the fake. Because if some bootlegs may have artistic or collectable interests, fakes or imitations just don't.
Alas the internet years also have been seeing the emergence of an important number of counterfeits and other fantasy pressings - often sold almost anonymously through auction sites, until CD fakes, usually made 'on request'.
The ability for every computer owner to burn silver CDRs at home while major labels would parallely less and less care for the packaging of their promotional items litterally drowned such promo CDS market in a few years, raising doubts on the genuity of almost every promo CDs made after 2002, and therefore spreading a serious lack of interest in such items in the end.
The list is long on South American fakes! More exist.
Vinyl did not suffer that bad, for its manufacturing process requires professional equipment, but bootlegs from Germany - pressed in the East for the most - also flourished, with a greedy trend to copy or revamp - next to perfect - original ultra rare stuff. This mainly concerns LPs [only a few dealers would clearly state these are copies], but singles are also targetted as colored vinyl editions of 'Plundered My Soul' [so-called promo issues] for instance, or 'Cocksucker Blues' respectively issued on perfectly imitated Universal and Decca labels [see bootlegs section] showed.Further, quality home desk printers gave ideas to some to create 'new' covers [again, Germany is #1 in such practice].
Here are, country by country, some information of fakes on the 7" format.
A dealer mainly [and some others buying from him] has been selling many fake PS since 2003 on Ebay [see all pix above], supposed to be London originals from these countries [for Rolling Stones but also The Beatles and later artists like Queen or Madonna]. Work is well-made: PS consist of a fake cover, wrapped into plastic - sometimes with used plastic to make it more realistic like original Brazilian EPs were, and these never-seen-before covers supposedly from Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay or Brazil, host original Brazilian singles or EPs.
The truth is that no 60's single from 1966 onwards had a PS in Brazil, and that no cover variations exist for the Brazilian original EPs. Paraguay had no releases as such, Bolivia only had one EP in 1969, and Chilean 60's titles all came out in company sleeves. Refer to the discographies of these countries on this site to know what's genuine.
Reported seller(s) nickname(s): gabybutti
A fantasy picture cover for 'Stoned' was made in the late 70's [and may have been reproduced since]. By the same time, 'Tell Me', 'The Last Time', and '19th Nervous Breakdown' were counterfeited, easily recognizable with extra large white borders. More malicious is a counterfeit of 'The Last Time' with a darker PS than the original. 'Street Fighting Man' and 'Beast Of Burden' - one of the two rarest PS in the world - have inevitably been bootlegged also. The promo-only single from 1977 'Before They Make Me Run' was counterfeited as well [very close to original].
Recently  the following surfaced, all home made and sold through Ebay by the same seller. More to come for sure...!
Reported seller(s) nickname(s): sfcrobertp
Since 2014, Mexican 7"s from the 60s, 70s and later are sold on Ebay in fantasy sleeves, which are supposed to be promo PS made for/by a radio: 'I Don't Know Why', 'Mixed Emotions' are a few victims of that scam. In 2016, 'Angie' as well (helped by a promo radio sticker on top). A counterfeit PS of 'Tumbling Dice' sold for a couple of hundreds in Jan. 2016, 'It's Only Rock'n'Roll' is not in rest... even a fake 'promo' PS was made for the Mexican 12" Miss You in 2017. Fantasy covers also have been produced for EPs, color so-called 'ACIR Radio'promo, up to a b&w cover for 'Heart of Stone' in June 2017. Expect some more if not all titles as long as these home made sleeves find some credulous buyers...!
Reported seller(s) nickname(s): 10000.records.for.sale, very-rare-records , barbacoa2015, joe49_montana [off] ...
In 2016, some dubious covers surfaced for 'Street Fighting Man' and 'Honky Tonk Women'. Truth is that the first single never had a PS, and that the 2nd originally came out in the local 'bar' PS. Mono tones, early pictures of the band, the absence of printers mention, and a back with misspelling make think of bootlegs, although these covers look old and genuine by their similar texture and print quality. If real, they would be the result of a local promo release (by a radio or Decca), but until some official confirmation, they should be considered as boots.
A counterfeit copy of the 'Album Play' was made in the late 90's.
Early rare '5-head' PS have been heavily counterfeited too [with and without discographies on the back] and some used the same paper & print quality so that it is almost impossible to tell which are originals today. Other fakes exist, including new cover artworks, but these are easily recognizable and so far have never been sold as originals.
New bootleggers in Germany revamp well-known rarities, mixing sources and references. EG: in 2008, a 7" single 'Route 66 / Under My Thumb' was issued with a label design copied from the original Decca Italian single 'We Love You' [up to the matrices numbers on labels], cat.# changed from 12654 to 12564.
As the Italian DJ does below, a bootlegger based in Greece (or Germany?) regularly press 7" homemade dubplates, supposedly real records limited to '30 copies' on Ebay and Discogs. Sold around $50, worth nothing.
Reported seller(s) nickname(s): panzerfaust_666
In the late 70s, some US pressings were imported and distributed into 'Oldies' titled covers surrounded by stars which never were official. This was a marketing operation from a Dutch distributor.
The possible PS for the 'GDO' promo series on Decca would be fakes.
In 2014, an Italian DJ sells so-called dubplates on picture disc : home produced, and coated the way Polish postcards were in the 60s, these plates are thick plastic (not vinyl) discs stucks together, cheapest sound, and not worth anything collector wise [made on demand, at least 40 different were spread on Ebay].
The existence of a few copies of a Decca testpressing with cat.# EP 457104 ['19th Nervous Breakdown'] with a different tracklisting than original is extremely dubious.
A fantasy PS with orange beam and white titles was made in 2011 for the jukebox black labels of 'The Last Time' [Decca 72032 - the normal PS is pink with an earlier picture of the band, as earlier jukebox covers].
A 'Tumbling Dice' [RS 19103] fake cover was also offered on Ebay that same year.
Since 2015, a seller on Ebay has been making 'repros' of the rare 'Satisfaction' avenue jukebox cover 72039, or the rarest EP 'Get Off Of My Cloud' live cover 461211 but at least he's selling these as such (read well the ads).
Reported seller(s) nickname(s): ronnie-bird-fan
Except for the 'Cocksucker Blues' bootleg pictured at the top of this page imitating UK Decca labels, UK fakes are not legions as they are not very juicy for bootleggers, but a few sellers still have the nasty habit to stick 'demo stickers' on labels of stock copies to make more valuable, and sell them as genuine 'demos'. Such stickers existed, and may be genuine, but never were used for the Stones which had demo pressings with genuine demo labels (different from the stock copies), and if even if the thing occured, a stock copy with such sticker is hardly more valuable than without it.
Reported seller(s) nickname(s): plasticsatisfaction
Note that scams are obvious and frequent on UK acetates [most acetates seen on the market are fakes nowadays].
Besides is a fake of the 'Come On' demo appeared in 2017 on Ebay: newly printed labels (see typography) stuck over the labels of a stock copy, with center off to make it truer.
Many more fakes and counterfeits exist, home made covers being made by collectors or sellers.
If you are aware of existing scams/fakes that you would like to see here, please feel free to contact the webmaster here.