When you think of counterfeit Apple devices, you might drum up visions of a nondescript building in China churning out imposter iPhones by the boatload. Of course, you might, just as easily, recall the proliferation of actual counterfeit Apple retail stores which seemed to be an ongoing problem in China back in 2011.
When you think of counterfeit Apple devices, one place not likely to pop into mind is your local mall.
Just this past week, however, police officials in Maryland discovered and confiscated hundreds of bogus Apple products at a tech kiosk and cell phone repair shop located inside the Arundel Mills Mall in Hanover, Maryland.
Specifically, authorities found 24 iPhones and a plethora of Apple accessories that were valued at over $89,000.
Coloring the story with more detail, WBALTV Baltimore reports:
Officers said they raided the Cyberion store and the ST Tech Pros kiosk last Friday and recovered hundreds of fake Apple products that were being sold as authentic factory replacements."These organizations that make these products are using substandard materials. They are doing everything they can to make them look like the real thing," said Greg Shipley with the Maryland State Police.
The items recovered included iPhones and the colored fronts and backings that go with them, cellphone conversion kits, iPhone and iPad covers, Apple product ID stickers, iPad replacement screens and various internal iPhone parts. Detectives also found packaging materials, equipment used to design and print those materials and computer equipment believed to be used to clone phones.
ABC 7 news initially reported that police officials "consulted with Apple officials to determine the authenticity" of the seized items and that an investigation into the operation had been ongoing for seven months.
The takeaway here, I think, is that if you're going to spend your hard earned money on an iPhone or an iMac, or heck, even an Apple wireless keyboard, do yourself a favor and head on over to a nearby Apple store or reputable retailer like Best Buy.
After all, if you find yourself purchasing a pair of iPhones in a McDonald's parking lot, you might be very surprised to find out what's actually inside the box.
While you don't often hear of counterfeit Apple products here in the U.S., there's a lot of money to be made in that particular line of work, if you can get it. Recall that authorities in Los Angeles, back in 2011, discovered upwards of $10 million worth of counterfeit Apple products in an L.A. warehouse.