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Amazon’s Apple products are almost all counterfeit

Apple says it has been buying Apple chargers and cables labelled as genuine on Amazon.com and has found nearly 90 per cent of them to be counterfeit.

The revelation comes in a federal lawsuit filed by Apple against a New Jersey company last week over what Apple says are counterfeit products that were sold on Amazon.

In the lawsuit, Apple says Mobile Star imprinted Apple logos on cables and chargers that “pose a significant risk of overheating, fire, and electrical shock”. It says the chargers and cables were being sold on Amazon as genuine Apple products.

Apple says it purchased the products on Amazon and later told the online retailer that they were fake. Amazon then identified Mobile Star as the source.

Amazon isn’t named in the suit, but said in a statement that it has “zero tolerance” for counterfeiters on its site and that it pursues “wrongdoers” aggressively. Mobile Star didn’t return a voicemail seeking comment.

Amazon has recently also cracked down on the fake review business, which has likely been a contributing factor to counterfeiters’ success.

Companies that pay money or provide free products in exchange for five-star reviews can rise to the top of Amazon’s suggested sellers, while the actual products and services they offer may end up disappointing customers.

The e-commerce giant has filed lawsuits against thousands of individuals and websites that promise fake reviews in an effort to halt the practice. But many compare the crackdown to a game of whack-a-mole, with fake reviews popping up as fast as Amazon takes them down.

It’s a serious problem for consumers. Research has found that people trust online reviews nearly as much as personal recommendations, but according to Bing Liu, a University of Illinois at Chicago computer science professor working on software to identify fake reviews, about 30 per cent of reviews for certain products are fake.

 

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