A Bloomberg report details that Instagram and Facebook have become a haven for selling fake Apple accessories like the AirPods, iPhone chargers, USB power adapters, and more. These knockoff products are sold at one-tenth of the actual product price and primarily targets customers from Europe and the U.S.
The Ghost Data team led by Andrea Stroppa monitored around 163 sellers who were selling fake Apple products on Instagram from February 8 to March 8. These sellers were offering the AirPods Pro for as low as $25 and the MagSafe charger for just $5.50, down from its original price of $38. These sellers generally accept payments via wire transfers and credit cards, with one seller grossing over $140,000 in sales in a single day.
Apple knows about this counterfeit goods racket on Instagram and has a dedicated team working closely with law enforcement to remove such products. In 2020, the team at Apple managed to remove over 1 million counterfeit Apple products from online marketplaces.
“The safety of our customers is our first priority, and the risks associated with counterfeit products can be very serious,” an Apple spokesman said. “We have a dedicated team of experts constantly working with law enforcement, merchants, social media companies and e-commerce sites around the world to remove counterfeit products from the market. 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.”
The biggest issue with fake chargers and other Apple accessories sold on Instagram and Facebook is that they pose a safety risk. Ghost Data’s Stroppa started his research on fake Apple products sold on Instagram after borrowing his friend’s charger to charge his iPhone, which exploded. At one point, Amazon was also filled with fake Apple chargers and other accessories before Apple worked closely with the e-commerce giant to take them down.
You will likely also come across sellers on Instagram selling Apple accessories and chargers for a very low price. It would be best to avoid them and instead always use official channels to purchase any Apple accessory that you want.