224,000 illegitimate ink and toner offers online were also identified and delisted as criminal networks hide behind the shroud of online anonymity
In the past year, the HP Anti-Counterfeiting and Fraud (ACF) team confiscated over 4.5 million fraudulent print products, parts and components – including large numbers of ink and toner cartridges - in raids across Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Asia-Pacific and the Americas.
The seizures took place between November 2019 and October 2020, during a year where COVID-19 created extraordinary challenges in the battle against fake print supplies around the world.
Between government shutdowns, labour shortages, and changes in custom control priorities, criminal networks have adjusted their strategies to take advantage of the evolving landscape. E-commerce has become intensely exploited as consumers and businesses turn to online shopping. HP’s ACF team had to quickly adapt to find new ways to protect its customers from these illicit e-traders – leading to 224,000 de-listings of counterfeit cartridges from online marketplaces.
Throughout 2020, the HP ACF team worked closely with its customers and channel partners to carry out over 1,700 Customer Delivery Inspections (CDIs) and Channel Partner Protection Audits (CPPAs) across all regions. Conducted in a COVID-19 safe and secure way, these ensured customers continue to receive authentic HP print supply products. The team continued to train and educate partners on anti-counterfeiting through online events reaching more than 6,700 stakeholders, partners and customers from around the world.
Additional 2020 successes by HP’s Anti-Counterfeiting and Fraud team in EMEA include:
“As pandemic restrictions are lifted and employees return to the office, IT decision makers must remain vigilant and wary of cheap office products flooding the market that could be fakes,” added Jones. “There must be a shared responsibility between brands, service providers and e-commerce platforms to ensure that the products being sold are legitimate. By working closely with our channel partners and distributors, we can reduce the instances of counterfeit products reaching the customer.”
Counterfeiting is a crime. For users, such illegal imitations can cause a multitude of problems that can result in performance and reliability issues. Should a printer break because of using counterfeit printer ink or toner, the manufacturer’s warranty may become invalid.
In contrast, original HP products are designed to meet HP’s strict quality and reliability standards, based on a long history of innovation, research and testing. Original HP LaserJet and HP inkjet cartridges, unlike counterfeits, benefit from outstanding performance and consistent results.
Last month, HP announced that in January 2021, local authorities conducted a major raid targeting a large-scale warehouse complex in the Emirate of Ajman. As a result, officials were able to secure over 72,000 illegitimate items from the warehouse, halting their sale in the UAE market. This follows a series of successful raids in November and December 2020 which saw HP shut down several counterfeiting operations in Egypt, seizing 8,500 illicit items in quick succession.