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This TikTok user got conned by fake AirPods Pro, but you don't have to get fooled

Real and fake AirPods Pro

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Fake AirPods and AirPods Pro are continuing to be a problem, with one TikTok user only discovering they were counterfeit when seeking help in an Apple Store.

The wild popularity of Apple's AirPods line has led to many counterfeits being produced and sold to unwitting users. Expecting premium personal audio hardware, the customers often end up with poor quality and sometimes dangerous copies, with little recourse.

Sometimes, the victim doesn't know they've been duped until they are told by someone else. In one TikTok user's case, that happened inside an Apple Store.

Kayla Bishop posted to TikTok about a visit to the Genius Bar of her local Apple Store, after discovering her AirPods stopped working after a week of usage. Believing them to be real, she hoped for a repair or replacement, but instead she was "humbled" by the experience, according to The Daily Dot.

Her video shows the worker placing a pair of genuine AirPods next to each other, to demonstrate that they are magnetic. When moving one AirPod closer to the other, the second shifts away due to the magnetic fields.

Bishop attempted to do the same thing with her own counterfeit buds, but they didn't move at all.

In the caption to the video, Bishop says she was "mortified," and that scammers should "Count your days." The video has since been watched over 2.2 million times.

How to tell if your AirPods Pro are fake

While it can be hard to tell the difference between real and fake AirPods, there are usually a number of elements that can tip off keen-eyed users.

Before opening the box, you may notice that the plastic wrapping is baggy in places, instead of being tight. Fakes also tend to use thinner boxes that bow slightly, as well as thinner paper for the getting started guide.

You may even find the Lightning cable isn't packaged right, as if it had been returned and repackaged.

Nit-picking the hardware itself can also offer clues, thanks to Apple's famous production tolerances and standards. Look for elements that may not be flush with each other, mold seams, and other telltale clues.

The third-party models also won't work like the deeply-integrated versions. While some will bring up the model pop-up like the real thing, elements like Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency may not work right or at all on fake AirPods Pro.

What will help to guarantee you get real AirPods or AirPods Pro is to buy from Apple or an Apple Authorized Reseller. If it's an auction site, Facebook marketplace, or a sketchy retailer, there's a chance that your purchase may be some fakes.

At least with an authorized reseller or with Apple itself, you at least have a solid returns policy to fall back on if the worst happens.