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Fake iPhones on the rise as gardaí alerted to counterfeiter operating in west Dublin shop

The con was occurring in a well-known electronics shop based in west Dublin.

Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

GARDAÍ IN BLANCHARDSTOWN have been made aware of a conman selling fake iPhones from his shop in west Dublin after a number of customers were scammed out of cash in the last three months, TheJournal.ie has learned.

The con was occurring in an electronics shop based in west Dublin. 

Gardaí were made aware of the clone phones in May of this year after a woman purchased a device from the seller, who also lives locally.

She attempted to trade in the phone as part of a deal for a new contract with a reputable company and was informed the phone was fake. She had paid over €650 for the device.

When she attempted to get the man, who also owns the firm, to refund her money, he blocked her number as well as blocking her on social media. The victim of the con had also traded in a legitimate Samsung smartphone as part of the initial deal to get the iPhone she wanted. 

Following failed attempts to get a refund from the shop, the woman decided to go to Blanchardstown Garda Station where she informed officers of what happened. She was told that officers had received a number of reports about the seller in recent weeks. 

Many people had noticed a problem with their phone only when downloading items from the App Store. On many occasions a prompt message stating that the app could “only be downloaded to iPhone” appeared, despite the user believing they had the genuine item. 

How to spot a fake

There are a number of ways to check if your phone is a clone. 

For example, the voice recognition system, Siri, is only available on real iPhones. If Siri isn’t there, then the phone isn’t the real deal.

On the phone, go to Settings, choose General, and then click on About. This will give you the serial number. You can then access the Apple website, where you can enter your iPhone serial number to see if it is a real iPhone. On the website, enter your hardware serial number. If the site says that the code is invalid, then your iPhone is a clone.

Apple has warned its customers not to be taken in by fakes which it says can be dangerous. 

It said: “Some counterfeit and third party power adaptors and batteries may not be designed properly and could result in safety issues. To ensure you receive a genuine Apple battery during a battery replacement, we recommend visiting an Apple Authorised Service Provider. If you need a replacement adaptor to charge your Apple device, we recommend getting an Apple power adaptor.

“Also non-genuine replacement displays may have compromised visual quality and may fail to work correctly. Apple-certified screen repairs are performed by trusted experts who use genuine Apple parts.”

Anybody who suspects they have bought a fake iPhone should alert gardaí to the counterfeit goods.

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