Business Features

HP seizes 3.5 million counterfeit products in 2021

The HP Anti-Counterfeit and Fraud (ACF) team reported that it has confiscated more than 3.5 million fraudulent print products, parts, and components, including large numbers of ink and toner cartridges across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Asia-Pacific (APAC), and the Americas, in 2021.

According to HP, between November 2020 and October 2021, the technology company confiscated 646,000 counterfeit print products across EMEA, an additional 400,000 across the Americas, and a further 2.5 million across the APAC region. In 2021, a total of 159,000 illicit items were seized across Greater Asia including the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Vietnam.

“Counterfeiters are increasingly turning to the online space to sell their fraudulent wares,” said Guillaume Gerardin, global head and GM of print supplies at HP. “As a result, it’s becoming more difficult for customers to identify counterfeit cartridges at the point of purchase. This is why it’s so important that HP continues to work with online marketplaces to help spot and remove listings for counterfeit products, as well as track down the source of these goods.”

HP advises customers to use Customer Delivery Inspections to avoid counterfeit products
HP’s anti-fraud program continues to protect online shoppers vs counterfeit supplies

Counterfeit products are not only illegal but can cause a multitude of problems that can result in performance and reliability issues. Should an HP printer break because of a counterfeit ink or toner cartridge, the damage to the printer will not be covered by HP’s limited warranty.

HP also found that bad actors have already made a marked shift to online trading of counterfeit supplies. This trend has been further exacerbated by COVID-19, with HP increasing its online de-listings by 19% year-over-year. HP works with online marketplaces and other online third-party organizations to put more stringent procedures in place on sites to identify infringing products or sellers.

Customer Delivery Inspections

HP said COVID-19 continued to impact its ability to collaborate closely with law enforcement, “but identification measures moved online where possible with virtual Customer Delivery Inspections (CDIs) and Channel Partner Protection Audits (CPPAs).”

“(About) 1,191 CPPAs were conducted in fiscal year (FY)r 2021, an increase of 11% on FY20,” HP said. “Virtual inspections and audits supported the ACF team in identifying and delisting over 224,000 illegitimate HP online offers globally.”

“As pandemic restrictions are lifted and employees resume going into the office, IT decision-makers must remain vigilant and wary of cheap office products flooding the market that could be counterfeits,” said Glenn Jones, global head of HP’s anti-counterfeiting program. “The Combating Counterfeit Products Act and Customer Delivery Inspections can help identify and ensure fakes cartridges and components never reach the end-user.”

Spot the fake

HP Instant Ink and Managed Print Services provide customers with a safe and hassle-free way of ensuring they always receive authentic, high-performance print supplies. Here’s what to look for when differentiating between genuine HP cartridges and counterfeits:

  • Check the label. Identify the holographic security label on the box and make sure that as you move it back and forth, and up and down, the color changes, or the “OK” and “√” move across the label.
  • Scan the code. Use the HP SureSupply app or a generic QR code reader to scan the QR code on the cartridge’s security seal. If you cannot capture QR codes with a smartphone, validate online.
  • Report counterfeit. Help us fight counterfeit by reporting it on