05 Oct 2021 -
 Defence

Reports of ‘fly-by-night’ electronics sellers increase risk of buying counterfeit

The risk of procuring counterfeit electronics rises considerably during periods of component shortages, reports EPSNews, and the current shortages prolong the risk.

“In electronics, there is no shortage of fly-by-night operations that falsely advertise parts; remark or mismark existing devices; or sell damaged or inferior parts as new. There are also reports of manufactured counterfeit semiconductors,” writes EPSNews.

Buyers may also turn to the open market where excess inventory from component makers, distributors and OEMs is bought and resold. Although many of these parts come from factories or from distributors authorized carry component brands, the provenance of devices can’t always be verified.

Earlier this year, the anti-counterfeiting alliance, ERAI, posted a warning that hundreds of websites were advertising electronics components; requiring payment in advance; and never delivering orders. More recently, ERAI identified multiple fraudulent websites operated by a single individual.

However, there are several ways to combat fake chips, says Astute’s owner and MD, Geoff Hill. “When you’re buying products without any warranty or traceability, you have to test. There’s a AS6081 spec that we use mainly for semiconductors and for components generally. It involves a whole range of equipment that we’ve been using for many, many years. Our comprehensive Astute Counterfeit Avoidance Programme (ACAP) is used to root out counterfeit parts. We have on-site anti-counterfeit testing facilities in both the U.K. and U.S. for carrying out a range of destructive and non-destructive testing, as shown here:”

Astute is a highly accredited, quality-driven procurement expert, with a list of clients that includes the world’s leading defence suppliers. Our mission is to shield you against inferior quality products and services. As such, our operations are run in accordance with quality processes including AS6081 that mitigates the risks of purchasing and supplying fraudulent/counterfeit electronic parts. Find out more about our counterfeit mitigation techniques by contacting one of our experts.

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