- From the now closed White Cross Post Office
Taking your last point first, I have reported so many occasions of sales of forgeries on eBay and elsewhere to my trade manager that I have lost count. I'm certainly not going to tell them about a specific person who has used a few on mail; if they can't identify them by the lack of phosphor and take no visible action then it's unreasonable for one person to be called out.
I could tell them of other people who have used them on eBay sales, but they will be sellers of other goods who have bought their cheap postage on eBay, possibly innocently ("I didn't even know that forgeries existed; how can I tell?") And to be fair although RM have places on the website to report fraudulent use, they don't have completely accurate guidelines to spotting them.
Would I have paid a penalty (£1.50 I think) - probably although I did not recognise the handwriting, if I had been allowed to look at it and see that it was a forgery then yes I would. But only in the interests of journalistic research. I might also have told the chap in the enquiry office that it was a forgery.
He could say that he didn't know they were forgeries and would probably only be found out through a digital footprint which included his email exchanges with me, and his exchanges with the competent authorities.
As for RM being out of control. There are two aspects - the iceberg and swan, 90% of what is happening is beneath the surface of what we can see where the Investigation Branch is probably paddling like mad investigating sellers and seeking information about their sources. They certainly won't make public what is going on.
This one wasn't rejected, and I believe for a while there were no surcharges being raised for anything during the early days of lockdown 1 because they didn't want people turning up trying to pay fees, it was safer just to let a few through. But as this - and others - shows no signs of detection, I suspect that the phsophor detection is now taking second place to matching of the image database to ensure that the stamp is of a genuine design.
As some forgeries are up to 95% accurate matching on that alone is insufficient to prove validity.