The Chinese police have found that a group of scammers in the country were exploiting Apple’s replacement policy by trading-in counterfeit iPhone components for real ones, which they would later use to assemble fake iPhones.
What’s weird about this is that Apple’s warranty and replacement policy recently came under fire in the country for being too “shady,” following which CEO Tim Cook had to personally apologize to Apple’s Chinese customers and ensure improvements to the system.
The scam saw a Wenzhou Apple shop owner turning in what he claimed were 121 iPhone 4S BAND parts (the core of the phone, worth about $476 each) that were broken and asking that they be replaced back in December of 2012. Apple complied, but in January discovered that the parts he submitted as broken were actually counterfeits. They reported this to the shop, which claimed innocence and reported the case to the police.
Earlier this month, the Chinese police arrested several people involved in this scam.
Chinese manufacturers were already pretty good at making fake iPhones look very real, as seen in the video below, but genuine components takes the racket to a whole new level. We reported on a similar scam in 2011, but back then, scammers used to import these genuine components.