Chinese iPhone dealers scam Apple with fake parts

By , Apr 15, 2013

fake iphone

Five iPhone distributors in China are under arrest after Apple told local police it was the victim of an unusual scam. The plot involved sending fake iPhone 4S parts to Apple for replacement and receiving real components worth more than $64,000, according to Monday reports.

The alleged fraudsters went so far as to accompany the fake components with the serial numbers of more than a hundred real iPhone handsets, police said.

“The replacement parts were likely used by local retailers to assemble refurbished iPhones so they could be sold as brand new to unsuspecting consumers,” writes the IDG News Service, citing a police statement from China’s Wenzhou.

The scam involved 121 iPhone 4S handsets which were submitted to Apple with fake problems. According to reports, the distributors wanted the BAND, a group of components which comprise the core of the iPhone, less the battery and rear plate.

Each BAND is reportedly worth more than $480.

Actions by the iPhone distributors caught the attention of Apple.

The bulk of the “faulty” iPhones were activated on December 20, all with “C8PJ” in the serial numbers. Additionally, the suspected scammers filed for replacements from Apple on December 28-30, slipping under a fifteen-day limit for free returns on troublesome parts, according to the report.

Apple then notified Chinese authorities in January.

This isn’t the first time the Apple brand has acted as a magnet both of fans and hucksters in China. In 2011, a number of reports of fake iPhones, as well as fake Apple retail locations cropped up in the nation that is quickly adopting smartphones.

Then there are all the “leaks” of purported upcoming Apple components hinting at new designs from Apple.

But China isn’t alone in cashing-in on the iPhone.

Apple has had to have a number of retailers in New York City stop selling fake handsets. Little wonder the company in 2013 was granted a patent on its store design and layout.

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  • RarestName

    Bunch of black sheep making China and New York look bad D:

  • http://twitter.com/Chindavon Chindavon

    I wonder if they did this for plastic GS3 parts too :o)

    • RarestName

      Who can tell anyway?

  • MAFYOSO

    Great another 3GS

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

    .olollooolololol

  • Me

    I like how the white photo pictured has a smaller connector.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tafk1 Taf Khan

    The only thing worse than this is attempt to Ripp Off Apple is Samsung! :P

  • Mr.Ocean

    White 3GS part with lightning connector? :D wtf?

  • Jeffrey Yeo

    China can pirate everything… from iPhone to BMW

  • kbearsystems

    Well, Having worked as an engineer with Chinese contract manufacturers for many years; I can tell you this is a common problem, though rarely publicised. When you have something made in China, you have to hand over all of your schematics, design information, and any firmware/software that goes along with it. If you want CCC certification to sell your product in China, you must hand over everything including the kitchen sink. There appears to be a serious back door issue in China, allowing things to slip out the back door. We have all seen knock-off parts, and even whole products hit the market in China before the real product is released. Basically, if you don’t want your products knocked-off; don’t make your stuff in China!

  • Guest

    Its Very difficult to gudge these days.Which is Apple original parts or Chinease.
    Buyers sometimes have no idea.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001739134440 Adam Caitlin

    Its really very stupid from Chinese iPhone dealers. it will affect Apple brand Value among the chinese buyers