Over a month ago we did a piece on how Apple found several fake products on Amazon.com that were being sold under its branding. That might have been a case of a single seller being caught in the line of Apple’s fire, but Amazon has “acknowledged internally” that the problem is getting worse on its portals, and that it will address the issue throughout next year.
But the fake products problem goes much deeper than that, even with fake Apple products.
According to a news report in the Chartered Trading Standards Institute today, 99% of Apple chargers purchased online for the purpose of an awareness campaign were found to be unsafe. To be clear, these are all fake products being peddled online as Apple merchandise, and NOT genuine Apple accessories.
397 of the 400 chargers that were bought failed to pass even basic safety tests.
So what are you buying online? Are they genuine goods or are they fake products “dressed up” to look like popular and trusted brands?
While this particular exposé was conducted in the United Kingdom, the U.S. is not entirely immune to fake products, as we saw in the case with Amazon.com. In 2013, a report by OECD.org showed that 20% of products seized in the United States were fake – the highest of any country in the world, in fact.
Though this particular report did not cover online piracy, it shows how widespread the problem is. In fact, it’s even easier to sell fake products online because the consumer doesn’t actually touch and feel the product before paying for it. And most people don’t have the skill needed to spot a fake product until something goes wrong.
How to Deal with Fake Products
There are several things you can do to avoid facing the problem in the first place, such as buying directly from the company, reporting sellers of fake products on popular sites like Amazon.com, not buying second-hand goods (especially electrical and electronic items) from unknown sellers online, spreading the word to your friends and family through social media and so on.
As of now the problem persists, and it’s up to consumers to take it upon themselves to deal with this on a case-by-case basis. Fake products have most likely been around ever since the first copyright laws were created, and there seems to be no end in sight. As long as there is a huge price disparity between an “original” product and one that can be made to look like it, there will be piracy in all forms.
The only thing you can do is try to keep yourself safe, and try to make sure that none of your family or friends are taken in by knock-offs.
Thanks for reading our work! Please bookmark 1redDrop.com to keep tabs on the hottest, most happening tech and business news from around the world. On Apple News, please favorite the 1redDrop channel to get us in your news feed.