Most of these fakes are poorly refurbished products pulled from places like electronics disposal in Chicago, or wherever, and spotting them is really not that hard. As suggested, don't be cheap. If you must have the tech, pay for it.
Apple selling its well known apps, musics, videos for less than $5 or much less. The more populars, it costs much less.
You can rent or stream high quality videos from Hulu, Wal-Mart, Amazon, NetFlix for less than $15/mo with little annoying advertisements.
Industries listening to lawyers and spending billion of dollars on Digital Right Managements and fighting with copyrights.
Cutting down all the unnecessary "middlemen" and pass on saving to customers directly. Only values added providers will survive and grow.
Suddenly, all the "counterfeits" and "copyrights" in Entertainment Industry disappears.
Back in the old days, older electronics disposal was so dispersed that reclaiming useable amounts of items to turn into counterfeits was unprofitable. Now everybody in a "green" effort are shipping everything to a few concentrated recyclers and vola! We have counterfeits galore.
The issue facing the DOD (and others) is that there is no traceable supply chain for parts that have been out of production for years.
The gray market is the only game, you hope there is unused inventory sitting on the shelf somewhere, but since all that was written off and surplussed (to get it off the books) a long time ago from the traditional supply chain, hard to tell what you get, testing does not help, since you don't have any idea of the production process, how do you do a statistical analysis ?
Gray market parts are more common during a downturn when companies who bought parts above board are forced to get rid of excess inventory that the supplier refuses to take back. The parts are probably perfectly good, but the manufacturer won't support them if they can show that those date codes were sold to company A and some other company is coming to them for tech support. Counterfeit parts are always an issue but again, date codes may prove they are counterfeit.
Through most Authorized Distributors like my company (Rochester Electronics), it is not possible to get counterfeit. No returns and no grey market, only OCM product. In-house testing doesn't guarantee no counterfeit, this too is a huge variable. Buy Authorized is if available is still your best first step.
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.