Packaging Fraud Case Study- Refilled Apple iPad and Wine bottles

Earlier today we wrote about the clay iPads that popped up in Canada. As more information has emerged about this situation we have decided to take a closer look into the problem.

A recent article states that someone bought real iPad2’s with cash, removed the iPad from its packaging and in return, replaced it with a perfectly weighted slab of modeling clay. The counterfeiters then resealed the original packaging and returned it to the store. The crime was done so professionally that Apple employees could not tell the difference in packaging or weight and resold the clay to unwitting customers.

Refilling genuine packaging with a fraudulent product is not a new practice. This is something that has been around for years and is evident even more in the wine and beverage industries. For example, in China, there has been a huge problem with people refilling high-end wine bottles with cheap inexpensive wine, tarnishing the validity of the popular wine industry and brand owners. To the average consumer, the packaging looks legitimate therefore, the wine must be as well. However, to those educated in wine, the difference is overwhelming. The problem has grown so quickly that the organizers of wine tastings are taking to smashing the used bottles with a hammer to curb the activity. But unfortunately, the black market prevails as people are offering significant money for empty bottles from anyone who is offering.

DSS sees a clear solution to this problem. Apple needs to include a tangible seal with authentication features and copy deterrence technologies onto their packaging. This frangible seal is a form of adhesive label that is extremely delicate once applied, and when removed it comes apart in layers and pieces. The copy deterrent AuthentiGuard Pantograph 4000 would prevent a counterfeiter from being able to scan the graphics onto a desktop to create or duplicate the seal. Additionally, adding an authentication technology such as AuthentiGuard Phantom or AuthentiGuard Prism would give retailers a quick and simple way of verifying if a seal on a product is genuine. Both of these technologies cannot be duplicated on a copier or scanner and are not easily mimicked.

These simple solutions would greatly help to prevent the emergence of fraudulent product into the supply chain, reducing financial loss to retailers and brand owners as well as reducing liability to brand value should dangerous fake products enter the market. When combined with covert security features on the original label or packaging itself, DSS would create a strong and more secure solution that would benefit everyone but the counterfeiter.

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Apple Hit Hard by Counterfieters.

Making an investment in technology is expensive, so obviously, you want to make sure what you bought is authenticate. But how? Once you walk out of the store it is virtually impossible to return a faulty counterfeit device.

Within the past year, technology companies, in particular the coveted Apple, have been hit hard with counterfeiters. Not only have fake clay iPad2 surfaced in Canada, but entire fake Apple Stores have begun popping up all around China.

Without any intervention, this counterfeiting problem could be absolutely detrimental to Apple, who has a brand held in such high prestige. By properly implementing track and trace technology, Apple would have the ability to keep an eye on their products from the moment they were produced, until the moment the customer walks out of the store with it. This would help ensure that a $700 slab of clay would never walk out of an Apple store again.

The Importance of Layering Security Features

Counterfieting has become a problem that is exponentially growing every single year. Thankfully, DSS has developed patented technologies that will fight to keep your brand’s integrity out of the hands of professional counterfieters. These technologies can be added to a wide variety of materials such as; packaging, labels, plastic and paper documents. However, there is a downside – from overt and self authenticating technology to covert and forensic features, no one feature is a cure all.

That’s why we layer our security technologies. For example, as a business, you would never purchase worker compensation that covers only one type of injury. That would leave your business open to financial losses when other types of injuries occur.  The same is true with protecting your brand – security features should be layered to cover the varieties of ways your brand is at risk. 

Counterfeit deterrence features should be the base layer to any brand protection strategy.  AuthentiGuard Pantograph 4000 is the best of these base layers.  This feature prevents easy duplication of a brand’s image or document on a copier or scanner. (The technology can be viewed in it’s most simple form here: DeterX Copy Warning Paper)  It can be built upon with authentication features and other deterrent features for optimal brand security. 

A secondary layer of deterrence can be laid on top of the first to create an even stronger deterrent to copying.  Features, such as AuthentiGuard Block-Out, work specifically against certain model high-end color copiers to prevent them from making any usable duplicates. In some cases, the copier will even refuse to create a copy at all. Other features such as Guilloche borders and microtext can offer disruptions in the clarity of the reproduction.

A third layer, authentication, would prevent counterfeiters who reverse engineer a document from being able to pass off their re-creation.  Effective authentication features should be difficult to mimic and not able to be reproduced on a copier or scanner.  An example of this would be AuthentiGuard Prism.  This feature hides words or images into a graphic area.  These words or images are only revealed with a specific handheld viewing lens and resist duplication on copiers and scanners.

So, what do you get when you layer all these technologies? We build transcipts and event tickets that not only deter copying but authenticate actual ones. We create coupons and packaging/labels that won’t loose your company thousands of dollars in counterfiets. The possibilities are truly endless.

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DSS Welcomes You to Our New Blog!

DSS is excited to launch our new blog! To get things started off right, we figured we should give you a little insight into who we are, and what exactly you’ll find here.

Founded in 2002, DSS is the leader in customized brand protection and the fight against counterfeiting. Working hand in hand with governments, corporations and financial institutions, we fight off professional counterfeiters to ensure the integrity of your brand. Our patented portfolio has the tools necessary to protect you through the entire product life-cycle. You can read all about this and more on our website;

So, what will you find here? Besides the latest and most up to date information on DSS and our ever expanding patent portfolio, you will be supplied with a single source to learn about recent events, problems and solutions within the counterfeiting industry.

What else would you like to see here? Tell us in the comments!

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