A common scam is manufacturing EarPods that look exactly like AirPods with Apple branding and everything and selling them as genuine AirPods. Of course, these fake products only look like AirPods, but as far as the functionality goes, it’s a whole different story.
Especially when shopping online, beware of counterfeit AirPods. The risks associated with purchasing counterfeit products may not be readily apparent. If you are a victim of this scam and you just realized that you just bought fake AirPods, you are probably wondering what to do next. In this article, we will discuss what options you have.
Why are counterfeit AirPods bad?
- The big one is the quality. Much of the genuine AirPods’ features won’t work or will work very poorly, such as sound quality, battery life, Bluetooth connections, Siri, the setup process and more.
- Since these fake AirPods are cheap, they are produced using cheap materials. These materials may not be healthy, and they may even contain dangerous materials.
- Legality is a problem, too. Buying or using fake products is illegal everywhere.
- Of course, it is also bad for Apple. Not only do these bad products tarnish Apple branding, but they also cause Apple to lose money.
How to avoid buying fake Apple products
- Only buy from a trusted source. This can be Apple or an Apple authorized reseller. You can visit this website (https://locate.apple.com/sales) and find these trusted sources.
- Do not buy from Amazon unless the product is sold by Amazon. A lot of third-party sellers list their products on Amazon, and sometimes fake AirPods may end up there. To determine if Amazon is the seller, check under the Buy Now button; if it says Ships From and Sold By Amazon, as you can see below, you are safe to buy it.
- This is not 100 percent safe, but you should try, especially if you are buying AirPods from third-party sellers or buying used AirPods: Get the serial number of the AirPods and then enter the serial number here (https://checkcoverage.apple.com) to see if there is a match. If the AirPods show here, you may be fine, but not always. If it is not showing here, then they are definitely fake. As I said, if the serial number shows up here, you can not fully trust it because we know that scammers are duplicating serial numbers from the originals, and then they print it on the fake product as if they are genuine.
- If it is too cheap, do not buy it. Apple never sells its products cheaply. Apple or an authorized reseller will sometimes offer discounts and such, but they are not that big, mostly like 20 percent off at best. For example, sometimes I see some advertisements on Facebook where they are selling brand new foldable electric bikes for under 100 dollars. Obviously, they are scammers.
What to do next if you have purchased fake AirPods?
- Request a refund. If you purchased it on Amazon, they will issue you a refund once you provide proof, even if Amazon was not the seller. If it is a third-party seller or a one-night online e-commerce store, you may not get a refund.
- If the seller refuses to pay, issue a chargeback to dispute the sale with your credit card issuer if you paid with your credit card.
- If you purchased this from a seller from a marketplace like Amazon, Etsy, eBay, etc., write a review on the site so others will know.
- If you used Apple Cash, you can also get your money back.
- Report it to Apple by following this link: https://www.apple.com/legal/contact/counterfeit-prevention.html
- You can also report it to the local police office and file a report.