The global chip shortage has expanded the playing field for criminals, writes Tech Wire Asia, just as the world’s leader in counterfeit electronics databases, ERAI, reported an increase in the number of counterfeit components purchased by “desperate buyers”.
reported by desperate buyers
she influx of fake chips has been in the limelight for months now and it’s mainly heightened by demand — businesses in need of semiconductors accidentally engaging with bad actors.
In a report by Reuters, ERAI was quoted saying that in 2021 there were 101 wire fraud cases reported to the US-based firm, up from 70 in 2020 and 17 five years ago. ERAI president Mark Snider said companies looking for chips that they could not find through authorized and vetted distributors, were trying to buy them from shadier brokers. That resulted in them transferring funds for goods that never got delivered.
An interesting fact that Snider shared is that most of the wire fraud was by chip brokers in China. Snider reckons that China’s pandemic-related shutdowns could be making it harder for counterfeiters to operate, reports Tech Wire Asia.
“Those at risk include low-volume manufacturers whose supply chain for semiconductors is less established – but it could include companies in sectors that are as critical as defense, healthcare and even automotive.”
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