Electronics counterfeiters benefit from component shortages

Beware: as the industry encounters a sustained period of component shortages, counterfeiters are looking to take advantage of ‘short stocked’ buyers.

It’s no secret that the electronics industry is encountering a period of component shortages, a period that unfortunately looks likely to last for the foreseeable future. Although it may be a troublesome time for many in the industry, others are looking to benefit from it as counterfeiters exploit those worst affected by the shortages.

The forecast looks somewhat gloomy, as many companies believe that there is no end in sight for constrained products. Many are predicting that suppliers won’t be able to ramp up capacity quickly enough for 2018 and 2019 – if at all. Suppliers’ and analysts are also concerned that demand is being inflated by double-ordering in the supply chain. A combination that likely results in the next problem for buyers… counterfeiters!

With a sense of distress and desperation in the industry, criminal enterprises are getting more and more sophisticated in their efforts to cash in on counterfeit parts. According to Creative Electron’s CEO Bill Cardoso in a recent article on EBN “current estimates for the annual loss to the electronics industry due to counterfeit components is north of $5 billion,” so there’s a lot of money to be made at the expense of industry buyers.

The advice being given is simple, stick to franchised sources when buying to avoid buying counterfeit goods. It sounds common sense enough, but for companies facing short supply issues and a lengthy delay on components it’s easier said than done.

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