Anywhere from 65 to 90 per cent of Beatles autographs circulating are fake. You are unlikely to purchase an authentic Beatles autograph for under £650. The profit that can be had from selling a Beatles autograph has prompted a slew of scam artists to attempt to replicate the band's signatures and convince unknowing consumers that they are legitimate. It is often difficult to tell a fake from an authentic Beatles autograph, but there are a few things for which you can look.
Compare the Beatles autographs you have to an authentic signature. There are authentic signatures available online for viewing (see Resources). Quickly compare each signature to see if the structure of each letter is similar to that found on an authentic signature. Pay special attention to signatures by Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney as they are the most difficult to duplicate because they are the least legible.
Check the style of the signature. A person's signature style can change over time, but there are usually lasting elements. For example, Paul McCartney stacks the two "Cs" in his last name. Ringo Starr often includes a star symbol between his first and last name. John Lennon tended to write his name sideways or at an angle, while George Harrison sometimes lifted his first name above his last name.
Turn over the autograph and determine if the ink has permeated the paper. If the ink is sitting on top of the fibres, it probably was recently applied. A recent signature from the two remaining Beatles can be acquired, but it is rare to find an autograph signed by all four Beatles.
Compare the size of the Beatles autograph you have with the authentic signature. Fake signatures tend to stand out and are often drawn larger than the authentic signature.
Examine the paper on which the autograph was written. Modern paper will start to deteriorate and become brittle over time.
Find lines of hesitation in the signature. Fake signatures will often have lines where the artist hesitates as he tries to draw it correctly. A hesitation line is drawn lightly, is wavy or is broken. These lines may appear as part of a letter. For example, it could be in the loop of the "G" in George Harrison's name, the "L" and "P" in John Lennon's and Paul McCartney's name or the "R" in Ringo Starrs' name.