Apple removed 1 million+ counterfeit product listings online last year

Counterfeit AirPods Pro are particularly in-demand online.
Photo: Apple

Apple has a “dedicated team of experts” who work with law enforcement, social media companies, and e-commerce sites to remove counterfeit products from sale, the company has revealed.

“The safety of our customers is our first priority, and the risks associated with counterfeit products can be very serious,” an Apple spokesperson told Bloomberg. “… In the last year we have sought the removal of over 1 million listings for counterfeit and fake Apple products from online marketplaces, including Facebook and Instagram.”

Apple clarified the point for an article focused on the risk of unauthorized accessories for sale on Instagram. Many of these are knockoffs, sold at discount prices. They do not meet the quality and security standards of Apple’s official accessories. A Facebook spokesperson said buying and selling counterfeit goods on Instagram violates its rules.

Apple’s problem with counterfeits

“We have devoted more resources to our global notice-and-takedown program, which has made us quicker in taking action,” the spokesperson said. “While there’s always more work to do, we now regularly respond to reports of counterfeit content within one day, and often within a matter of hours.”

Data from cybersecurity social media group Ghost Data monitored 163 wholesale sellers of counterfeit Apple accessories on Instagram. From February 8 through March 8, it found the most popular knockoffs were fake AirPods Pros. Some of these sold for just $25 instead of the regular $249.

Cracking down on fakes

The problem of counterfeit products is one that Apple deals with on a regular basis. Frequently, there are reports about thousands of dollars worth of fraudulent Apple products being seized by customs officials — although clearly a large number still slip through the cracks.

Apple has its own dedicated webpage for customers who think they might have received counterfeit goods. The webpage lets people submit images and other details so that Apple can crack down on fakes. In many cases, however, customers may not be aware that they have even bought fakes. Until something goes wrong, that is.

Have you ever had any issues with fraudulent Apple accessories? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: Bloomberg