A dedicated anti-counterfeit team at Apple has sought the removal of more than one million listings for knockoff or fake Apple products in the past year.
A spokesperson for the Cupertino tech giant shared that tidbit in a statement to Bloomberg as part of a report focused on counterfeit iPhone chargers. The spokesperson said that the safety of Apple consumers is the company’s first priority, and that the risks associated with knockoff accessories can be “very serious.”
“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,” the spokesperson said. “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 Bloomberg piece notes that the counterfeit accessory business is booming and has become a multimillion dollar business, according to a soon-to-be-released report from cybersecurity and social media intelligence firm Ghost Data.
Andrea Stroppa, a member of the Ghost Data team, became interested in counterfeit Apple goods when an inauthentic charging cable he purchased on Instagram exploded.
Apple has taken action against entities selling counterfeit goods in the past. Back in 2016, it filed a lawsuit against a vendor called Mobile Star accusing it of selling knockoff accessories on Amazon and Groupon. In that lawsuit, Apple said that a huge chunk of “genuine” accessories on Amazon were fake.
At the time, Amazon said it had a zero-tolerance policy for counterfeit goods. A Facebook spokesperson told Bloomberg that it also prohibits buying and selling knockoff products on Instagram.