Mobile Fraud in Pakistan – How we Pakistanis are being Duped
Tera phone to fake hai, yaar
Pakistan’s markets have a very negative image; that we sell fake/replica products as original/genuine products. The truth is, the image is essentially correct, especially when it comes to our local mobile market. Most phones sold in the local market are what we call “nakli.” The problem is most of us can’t tell the difference, until now.
Today, I’m going to tell you exactly how your mobile dealer is ripping Pakistanis like you off and making millions.
Your Dealer is Replacing Parts
A genuine 16GB Pink Gold Samsung Galaxy A7 is available in Pakistan for roughly Rs. 40,200. Your local dealer will likely sell a “genuine” A7 for roughly Rs. 35,000. How do they do it? They replace parts. How?
If original Apple earphones cost Rs.2,000, they will replace it with a “first copy” version costing Rs.500. But they don’t stop there. They will replace the battery, earphones, charger, and more with “first copy” variants until they achieve the price they want.
But the box is new and sealed. I must be lying, right? Read on!
Most Phones come with Local Boxes and Seals
Working in the industry long enough, I have seen many places where “original” boxes and seals are manufactured. Local mobile scam artists can take out original parts, place first copy versions in a new box and replace the seal. That’s why you never know!
Ensure you check every single detail of the packet. The colors, seals, details, numbers, specifications, logos, brand name, etc.
Warranty Cards with Fake Details
If local scam artists can make “original” packing and seals, they can very well make warranty cards, and they do. You see a warranty card and believe you have a genuine product. But on closer inspection, you see misprinting, bad English, and shorter warranty periods.
International Mobile Equipment Identity, or IMEI, is a number that is unique to every phone, which is also printed inside and/or outside the box. Unfortunately, plenty of phones sold in Pakistan have mismatched codes. In other words, the IMEI in the phone (available if you type *#06#) is different from the one printed on the inside.
In fact, the 7th and 8th digits of your IMEI tell you where your phone is from. Here are some codes:
- If it’s from Finland, the digits are 00
- If it’s from Azerbaijan, the digits are 13
- If it’s from the UAE, the digits are 02 or 20
- If it’s from China, the digits are 03, 30, 04, or 40
- If it’s from USA, Brazil or Finland, the digits are 05 or 50
- If it’s from Hong Kong or Mexico, the digits are 06 or 60
- If it’s from Germany, the digits are 08 or 80
The Prices Tell a Different Tale
If a genuine Galaxy S7 costs roughly Rs.67,000, they will sell one for Rs.55,000-60,000, using all the tactics mentioned above. If you know an original S7 costs Rs.67,000, how on earth can they sell it for that low a price, unless they’re shelling the discount out of their own pockets.
It’s really sad that our local mobile market has come to such a low point. With such practices rampant over the last few decades, most of the market is now full to the brim with fake or fraudulent mobiles.
Fortunately, Telemart is one place where you can rest easy knowing you’re getting nothing but a genuine product. Whether it is the earphone, warranty card, box, or phone, Telemart only sells genuine products. Remember, if it’s not original, it’s not at Telemart.