Apple removes 1 million-plus counterfeit product listings in 2020

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

Apple fields 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 says.

“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 Facebook rep 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 wholesalers 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

Apple deals with the problem of counterfeit products on a regular basis. Frequent reports indicate customs officials seize thousands of dollars worth of fraudulent Apple products at a time. Clearly, a large number of counterfeits still slip through the cracks.

Apple operates a dedicated counterfeit-prevention webpage for customers who think they received bogus goods. The webpage lets people submit images and other details so Apple can crack down on fakes. In many cases, however, customers may not be aware that they bought fakes. Until something goes wrong, that is.

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

Source: Bloomberg