People who have coughed up thousands of rupees at an Apple reseller for genuine Apple accessories know the pain of spending big bucks for a good quality product. However, the silver lining being peace of mind from a top-notch product with little to no defects. Sometimes, great products are also on grab at fairly reasonable prices from certified third-party vendors. But, the entire equation changes when it comes to the point where a bad quality counterfeit product eventually ends up not only your expensive device but even your own life.
10 times cheaper than Apple — 1000 times more dangerous!
Coming across cheap Apple products online across different platforms is one of the most common things on the internet. While any sensible person would abstain from purchasing say an iPhone for 70% off, most people find it difficult to let go of deals on accessories.
Bloomberg has now highlighted in one of their articles, the fact that Apple is aware of the tons of counterfeit Apple-branded products, a huge chunk being accessories, that is being sold by vendors on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. A large chunk of this counterfeit market consists of fake AirPods, iPhone batteries, Lightning Cables and power adapters. Most of these copies are mass-produced in China.
This shady business comes into the picture as Andrea Stroppa, a cybersecurity researcher, amongst many others have started a quest to eliminate this menace after having faced a scary incident caused by an accident from a counterfeit iPhone charger. The iPhone charger was Apple Inc.-branded however burst in flames when Andrea borrowed it from a friend for charging his phone up, which is an insignificant daily task.
It’s not always a financially wise decision to spend Rs. 4000 to buy an official Apple power adapter and a USB-to-Lightning cable, we all can agree on that. But using fake products and accessories can cause more harm than good. Investing in certified third-party products is a good option. Such products are cheaper than OEM accessories but provide similar performance and sometimes even have added features and gimmicks making them compelling buys.
Hotspot of Fradulent Practices: Beware!
Andrea along with his co-workers from Ghost Data Team soon realized they were far from being alone in it. Chinese counterfeit products look identical to the ones sold by Apple but are of much inferior quality. They are easily available on stores on Facebook Marketplace and various profiles on Instagram. These sellers often offer huge discounts which give customers the illusion of grabbing expensive Apple products for price 10 times lesser.
Bloomberg has sourced data from Ghost Data Team, which shows the identification of 163 sellers on Instagram in the past month alone. It was found that the most popular accessories were replicas AirPods Pro (worth $249) and MagSafe Chargers (worth $39) were reportedly being sold for $25 and $5.50 respectively. That’s a discount of 89.95% and 85.89% respectively on the above-mentioned products. The price however lucrative is a complete hoax and quite clear that its an impossibility to find such products at such inexpensive prices.
“The safety of our customers is our first priority, and the risks associated with counterfeit products can be very serious,” an Apple spokesman said.
The study performed by Ghost Data Teams also discloses that Instagram contained 50,000 sales posts which garnered around 6,00,000 odd likes and comments. The activity on such posts clearly show how interested consumers and other social media users are in such fraudulent posts. This makes it important have stronger algorithms from Facebook’s end to filter out such scams and only allow verified sellers.
Apple’s View On The Issue: An Apple spokesperson has commented on the issue stating the fact that Apple acknowledges the risks of using such counterfeit products. Apple seems to be working towards deploying a team to take down such vendors to preserve their image and brand name while protecting consumers from hazards.
Links to Apple Certified Accessories:
- boAt LTG 500: Rs. 799
- Official Apple MagSafe Charger: Rs. 4,500