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Illustration: Mike Sullivan
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AirPods Are a Huge Hit With Consumers—and Counterfeiters

Photo: Illustration: Mike Sullivan

U.S. Customs officials are seizing record numbers of counterfeit wireless headphones amid a surge in the popularity of Apple’s easy-to-copy AirPods.

Roughly 360,000 counterfeit wireless headphones with a retail value of $62.2 million were confiscated in the first nine months of the U.S. government’s fiscal year, which starts in October, according to previously unreported data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. That has surpassed both the quantity and the retail value of counterfeit wireless headphones seized in all of fiscal 2020, when 295,000 pairs worth $61.7 million were seized.

The numbers are up dramatically from 2019, when the agency nabbed $3.3 million worth of headphones.

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