WCCO-TV Minnesota ran a story today on counterfeit electronics products in the US. Their advice on how to avoid buying a fake:
- If it's a bargain - be suspicious. (However, fakes aren't always cheap.)
- Buy from reputable outlets. (But even retailers are fooled.)
- Take a close look at the physical characteristics of the product, including the wording on the label, the size, shape and color. (This, of course, presumes you know what to look for.)
These steps alone are clearly not enough. Secure coding provides a better solution, as the reporter says:
A number of companies are adding ... serial numbers to their products, so consumers can make sure their products are real by calling the company or using a Web site.