21 Jul 2021 -
 Defence

Shortages create ‘gold mine’ for counterfeit chips, says Wall Street Journal

Electronics counterfeit mitigation

The global semiconductor shortage is attracting fraudsters into supplying counterfeits, claims the WSJ.

“The global chip shortage has created a gold mine for bad actors. Businesses in need of chips are taking supply-chain risks they wouldn’t have considered before, only to find that what they buy doesn’t work.

“Dubious sellers are buying ads on search engines to lure desperate buyers. Sales of X-ray machines that can detect fake parts have boomed.

The WSJ claims complaints to ERAI Inc., which maintains records of misbehavior in the electronics supply chain, are arriving “almost every day” according to ERAI VP, Kristal Snider.

“The transgressors are generally opportunistic criminals. They lure victims through targeted ads on search engines, direct them to boastful webpages and then disappear after receiving wire payment.” She says that ERAI has flagged dozens of high-risk websites, many based in Hong Kong.

“The counterfeiters now, in fact, have original manufacturers’ equipment. They can silkscreen and really make the parts look to be very, very much the part that you require and in some respects, can actually go past first initial tests, electrical tests, or they could actually meet some of the characteristics that would indicate that it’s the same family,” says Astute Electronics’ owner and MD, Geoff Hill.

There are several ways to combat fake chips. Says Geoff, “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 ranges a whole range of equipment that we’ve been doing for many, many years.”

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.

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:

Either through the hundreds of manufacturers we purchase directly from, or the international network of component supply-partners offering full product traceability, Astute Safe-Supply, run by sourcing experts and offers a deeper insight into the global components markets.

With real-time access to the latest listings and prices cultivated through several decades of close supplier partnerships, we are able to spot price disparities and leverage product price variances to deliver cost-effective solutions to customers, whilst ensuring a quality, risk-free supply.

For more help with looking at supply chain options, contact Astute Electronics here

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