$290,000 worth of fake AirPods and Apple Watches seized at Washington Dulles airport

AirPods Pro 2 with the lid open
(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future)

$290,000 worth of counterfeit Apple products were seized in March at Washington Dulles International Airport, the U.S Customs and Border Protection announced yesterday.

According to the report, CBP officers seized four shipments to Fairfax County, Virginia, including 1000 fake AirPods Pro 2 and 50 Apple Watches on March 15 this year. At the time of writing, no one has been charged with the offense.

The CBP also revealed that during the 2022 fiscal year, "CBP officers and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents seized nearly 21,000 shipments containing goods that violated IPR, which equates to nearly 25 million counterfeit goods. The total estimated MSRP of the seized goods, had they been genuine, was over $2.98 billion (USD), or an average of over $8 million every day."

Fake Apples all around

With over $290,000 worth of fake Apple products seized on one average Wednesday in Virginia, it does make you wonder how many counterfeit tech products are out there. And for the average consumer, can they even tell? You would expect so.

Back in the day of the original AirPods frenzy, where it was impossible to find Apple's wireless earbuds in a store, you would often see people walking around with massive toothbrushes in their ears. Back then, I would ask myself if the people knew their AirPods were fake, expecting the answer to be yes, but that they wanted the social status of owning AirPods back in 2016.

A few years later, working at the Apple Store, I would regularly see customers with fake AirPods that they'd purchased online, and to the untrained eye, I would suspect that many would be tricked into buying the counterfeit products. But unfortunately, this report shows that fake Apple products exist and are more prominent than we sometimes realize. That's why it's imperative to buy products from trusted retailers and to ignore a deal if it sounds too good to be true. iMore finds many deals on AirPods and Apple Watches and ways to purchase the best iPhones for that little bit less.


John-Anthony Disotto
How To Editor

John-Anthony Disotto is the How To Editor of iMore, ensuring you can get the most from your Apple products and helping fix things when your technology isn’t behaving itself. Living in Scotland, where he worked for Apple as a technician focused on iOS and iPhone repairs at the Genius Bar, John-Anthony has used the Apple ecosystem for over a decade and prides himself in his ability to complete his Apple Watch activity rings. John-Anthony has previously worked in editorial for collectable TCG websites and graduated from The University of Strathclyde where he won the Scottish Student Journalism Award for Website of the Year as Editor-in-Chief of his university paper. He is also an avid film geek, having previously written film reviews and received the Edinburgh International Film Festival Student Critics award in 2019.  John-Anthony also loves to tinker with other non-Apple technology and enjoys playing around with game emulation and Linux on his Steam Deck.

In his spare time, John-Anthony can be found watching any sport under the sun from football to darts, taking the term “Lego house” far too literally as he runs out of space to display any more plastic bricks, or chilling on the couch with his French Bulldog, Kermit.