Counterfeit Electronics

News and statistics about fake technology products and fake electronic goods. Data about the counterfeit electronics are collected from criminal justice programs, security agencies, safety officials and other public information sources.

Between 2005 to 2010, US law enforcement agencies made over 700 raids on counterfeit networking equipment and seized over 94,000 counterfeit Cisco networking equipment.

The counterfeit equipment was valued at $86 Million.

Source: IDG News, “US Agencies Crack Down on Counterfeit Networking Hardware,” PC World, May 6, 2010.

Source: Associated Press, “Crackdown targets counterfeiting network equipment,” Google News, May 7, 2010.

The United States Customs and Border Protection reported a decrease of 75 percent in the number of counterfeit networking equipment seized at US borders between 2008 and 2009.

Source:  IDG News, “US Agencies Crack Down on Counterfeit Networking Hardware,” PC World, May 6, 2010.

Between 2005 and 2008, computer manufacturer HP conducted 4,620 counterfeit investigations that lead to over seizures of counterfeit electronic goods worth nearly $800 Million.

Source:  Brandon Bailey, “HP says stolen components found in ink cartridges sold on-line,” San Jose Mercury News, March 8, 2010.


A report by the US Commerce Department in January 2010 reported 9,356 incidents of counterfeit electronic parts found within the defense industry, an increase of over 100 percent from the 3,868 found in 2005.

Source:  Rachel King, “Fighting a Flood of Counterfeit Tech Products,” BusinessWeek, March 1, 2010.

Counterfeit goods investigations conducted by computer and printer maker HP lead to seizures of more than $795 Million in counterfeit printing supplies. The company conducted over 4,620 counterfeit goods investigations in 55 countries between 2005 and 2009.

Source: Avanti Kumar, “HP Malaysia seizes more than 370 counterfeit products,” MIS Asia, August 28, 2009.

The US Chamber of Commerce and the Gallop Organization found that 64 percent of all counterfeit electrical goods are purchased at legitimate shops and retailers.

Source: Electrical Safety Foundation International, “Buyer Beware Anti-Counterfeiting Campaign Fact Sheet,” National Electrical Safety Month, May 2009.

Cellphone maker Nokia is blaming high VATs for an increase in counterfeit phones in East Africa.  The company has stated that the level of tax in African countries, such as 16 percent in Kenya, 18 percent in Tanzania, and 20 percent in Uganda, creates opportunities for counterfeit phone makers in Asia to penetrate the market.


Counterfeit mobile phones consist of up to 20 percent of all mobile phones sold in China. The phones, which are sold for as little as $20, resemble legitimate phones such as the iPhone.  Many of the counterfeit phones have exploded while being used.

(More counterfeiting news here.)


Over 100 million counterfeit cell phones are produced in China each year, costing the central government up to $2.5 Billion in lost taxes.


US Computer Manufacturer HP claims that up to 60 percent of refill ink cartridges sold in East Africa are counterfeit.