I could not agree more. Again, researching the blatant forgeries on ebay, the bulk are bought by newbies who just assume that ebay is acting as a watchdog. "Nothing could be further from the truth" kind of says it all. In my opinion, and it's just my opinion, 85% of the non-certified (and I don't mean certified by forgers) autographs offered on ebay are fake. It's just so easy! It's a crime which offers huge returns and absolutely no risk. You literally cannot be caught. If you went to the FBI you could only provide circumstantial evidence. I wish I had a solution. I've thought long and hard on the problem but haven't come up with anything; for the time being, anyone buying on ebay (and I do), the mantra is assume it's fake unless proven otherwise.
If by ''to those who don't know autographs'' you mean those who don't know sports autographs, then you're correct, since I collect almost exclusively music autographs.
Maybe there are more forgeries than back in the Operation Bullpen era, but I think it depends more on the celebrity rather than the market. With music autographs you can still find many legitimate stuff being sold online, depending on the musician.
Dunno about sports too much, but with Mantle being dead for over 20 years, it makes sense that most of what's for sale by Mantle is a fake. Still, these are really good fakes.
BTW on Operation Bullpen there's a detective named Tim Fitzsimmons hehe