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US officials seize shipment of over 1,000 pairs of fake AirPods and Apple Watch Ultra knockoffs

Counterfeit AirPods have become a significant problem over the past several years, leading to Apple adding a built-in feature to iOS 16 that warns users if they connect a counterfeit pair of AirPods.

In an attempt to crack down on the problem, officials at Washington Dulles International Airport recently seized 1,000 pairs of counterfeit AirPods, alongside a collection of counterfeit Apple Watches as well…

In total, officers seized $290,000 worth of fake Apple products, according to a report from NBC Washington. The products were in Apple’s “signature simple, white packaging” and were headed from China to an address in Virginia. In total, the shipment included 1,000 fake pairs of AirPods Pro and 50 fake Apple Watch Ultra devices:

Officers inspected four shipments sent from China to an address in Fairfax County, Virginia, at Dulles on March 15. The shipments contained 1,000 Apple AirPods Pro and 50 Apple Watches, according to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection release.

Trade experts at the Machinery Centers of Excellence and Expertise (CEE) viewed photos of the products and determined they were counterfeit. They appraised the product’s retail price at about $290,000.

Apple has battled counterfeit products for years, but it’s been a major problem for AirPods and AirPods Pro especially. In fact, a report in 2021 estimated that fake AirPods had cost Apple around $3.2 billion.

To counter this, Apple added a new system in iOS 16 last year that warns users when they attempt to pair counterfeit AirPods with their iPhone or iPad. Still, some manufacturers of fake AirPods have already found ways to circumvent that iOS 16 warning.

In the past, Apple has said that it works with “law enforcement, customs, merchants, social media companies, and e-commerce sites” around the world to remove counterfeit product listings. “Counterfeit products deliver an inferior experience, and they can often be dangerous,” the company said in a previous statement.

Have you ever accidentally purchased fake AirPods or a different counterfeit Apple product? Let us know in the comments.

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