1,000 fake AirPods & 50 counterfeit Apple Watches seized at DC-area airport in March

in General Discussion
Nearly $300,000 worth of counterfeit AirPods Pro and Apple Watches were seized at an airport heading to Virginia from China, although no one has yet been charged.

Genuine AirPods Pro
Genuine AirPods Pro

Authorities seized the products at Washington Dulles International Airport in March. The four shipments were beings sent from China to an address in Fairfax County, Virginia, according to NBC Washington.

The packages included fake 1,000 AirPods Pros and 50 Apple Watches for a total of $290,000. US Customs and Border Protection suspected they were counterfeits and held them for an investigation.

Officers seized the counterfeit products on March 29, which were in Apple's classic white, minimal packaging. No one has been charged in the investigation as of April 26, 2023.

How to spot counterfeits

Fortunately, there are ways to tell the differences between genuine and counterfeit AirPods.

First, check to ensure the plastic wrapping is tight around the package, as some counterfeits can include thinner plastic that may be loose in places. Next, the getting started guide may also be made of thinner paper than the genuine version.

On the AirPods, the text may be darker, with protruding buttons that differ from Apple's precision. The ear tips can also be stiffer than the silicone that Apple uses.

Additionally, after pairing the AirPods to an iPhone, be sure to enter the serial number from Settings into Apple's website. It will likely say it's a genuine serial number, but the coverage has expired.

The best way to purchase genuine AirPods is to buy products from Apple or an Apple Authorized Reseller.

Read on AppleInsider


  • Reply 1 of 3
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,798member
    I guess the trick is to sell them and “run.” Can’t imagine there would be much profit in creating an Apple Watch that did everything a real one does. 
  • Reply 2 of 3
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    The people who buy these counterfeits are the just prey of the thieves who sell them. It’s a symbiotic relationship of greed. If it sounds too good to be true it likely is. 
  • Reply 3 of 3
    As an Apple Premier Partner, we see customers come in with counterfeits regularly.  The article above suggests that you check the "plastic wrapping".  It is important to note that the most recent rounds of Apple Products introduced do not actually have any plastic over-wrap.  If you purchase AirPods Pro Second Gen with a plastic over-wrap... that's an automatic fake.  These AirPods have two pull tabs to open the box much like those found on lightning cables, AirTags and smaller accessories.  Current generation Apple Watch, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini have dropped the plastic to reduce waste.  Products that have been on the market longer like the AirPods second and 3rd Generations still have the plastic over-wrap.
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