Fake Electronics (Yes, We’ll Take Some)

PC World has an interesting, if disturbing article about counterfeit electronics hardware and what you can do to prevent having a knock-off cell phone battery explode through your chest. (The answer? Not a whole lot, actually.)

From the article:“To discover how prevalent counterfeit high-tech parts have become in the United States, PC World purchased seven hard drives, seven memory modules, and ten cell phone batteries online, using pricing search engines to find low prices. We then asked vendors to authenticate the gear. Of the two dozen products we bought, four (all cell phone batteries) were counterfeit. We also received at least one old or refurbished product masquerading as new, got one broken drive, and in a few cases ordered a specific brand but received a cheaper brand in its place. Worse, our reporter had his credit card number stolen and misused multiple times during the course of researching this story. Ultimately, only 15 of the 24 items we bought turned out to be exactly as advertised.”

While it is disappointing to pay full price for a knock-off, we rather like getting a nice quality fake if we can. For commodity items like USB keys, who cares what the brand is as long as it works? As much as we would like to know how to avoid fakes, it would also be nice to know where to buy them, as well. (The subway notwithstanding.)