Reporting Monique Griego
HANOVER, Md. (WJZ)—Consumers beware, especially those with Apple products. Maryland State Police made a huge counterfeit bust at Arundel Mills Mall.
Monique Griego has more on how they were conning customers.
They’ve got the design, the logo and even a serial number. Everything about these products makes them look like they came straight from Apple.
“They are doing everything they can to make them look like the real thing,” said Greg Shipley, Maryland State Police.
But Maryland State Police say these phony iPhones are part of hundreds of counterfeit items seized in a bust at Arundel Mills Mall.
“If you go to a mall, you presume that you’re buying legitimate products,” said Clinton Adams, Apple product owner.
The investigation targeted two retailers, the Cyberion store and ST Tech Pros kiosk. Investigators say they were selling fake iPhones and iPads, chargers and other accessories but passing them off to customers as legitimate products.
“They do look real. It’s easily mistaken,” said Ashley Richmond, Apple product owner.
Experts say there are tell-tale signs your product may be a knockoff. Besides being cheaper in quality, fake products are usually lighter in weight and the packaging can be a dead giveaway.
“Apple makes Apple products. You can see some of these are labeled from other companies,” Shipley said.
Police say counterfeiters lure customers in with lower prices, but knockoff items usually break easily, only work for a short time, or if it’s an attachment, can actually damage a real product.
“You need to be aware these products are out there. They’re being sold; they’re being marketed to young people. They’re inferior, and you could certainly lose some significant money over that,” Shipley said.
Investigators also allege the stores claimed to be authorized repair shops but were using counterfeit parts, therefore voiding any Apple warranty the customer may have had.
While the items were seized, neither store was shut down. The state’s attorney is looking at possible charges.