Identify and report counterfeit Google hardware

Along with our partners, Google makes hardware products that are sold around the world. Because counterfeit products are an unfortunate reality, we recommend buying (and using) devices sold only by our official store, or from one of our authorized retailers.

Counterfeit products can be hard to spot; the differences are often subtle. But when you buy elsewhere, you're unlikely to get the real thing.

What does "counterfeit" mean, exactly?

The definition is clear. Whether they're easy to recognize or not, fake or counterfeit products:

  • Are not created by Google or an authorized Google partner
  • Use identical trademarks or logos on a device or packaging
  • Mimic brand features of authentic products
  • Attempt to pass off products as genuine

Authentic Google devices are engineered and manufactured with high-quality materials, and they're always quality-tested before they leave our factory. Since counterfeit or fake devices are not built or tested to these standards, they might perform poorly or malfunction. So, if you don't buy from the Google Store or from one of our authorized retailers, we're unable to stand behind the products in any way. We can't honor a warranty, or accept returns.

We have no idea where the counterfeit products were made, or by whom; whether they are new or used; what they sell for; or how the parts were obtained.

Why should I care if something is real or fake?

Fraudulent products harm people just like you: our potential customers.

Counterfeit products are typically subpar quality (if they function at all)—and in any case, they fail to meet regulatory standards.

Because Google has no control over the manufacturing process of counterfeit products, there’s a chance that the components can fail or even prove harmful. Our products, of course, are always tested for safety. Then, there’s the issue of security—the risk of personal information being downloaded without your knowledge.

As you can see, counterfeit products are problematic all-around. (And, they’re against the law, too.)

How do I know if I have an authentic device?

For 2018 products, start by checking the anti-counterfeiting label on the product packaging. The label shows a multi-colored G Logo over multi-colored dots.

When you look at the label head-on, it appears silver:

Authenticity sticker silver

When you tilt it side-to-side, the Google colors appear:

Authenticity sticker color

Don’t see the label on your 2018 product package? That means (sorry!) you’ve got a fake.

Let's look at some examples of counterfeit Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra devices, and compare them with the authentic products below.

Counterfeit Authentic

Counterfeit - Chromecast box front

Note the incorrect spacing and font, and the wrong device in the photo.

Authentic - Chromecast box front

Note the two-part sleeve packaging, the correct font and the device shown correctly (including the silver strip on the HDMI cord).

Counterfeit - Chromecast

All-matte finish? Nope.

Authentic - Chromecast

Correct: high-gloss finish, with a matte Chrome logo in the center.

Counterfeit - Chromecast in box

No Chrome or Google logo? It's a fake.

Authentic - Chromecast in box

The real thing. Note the shiny Chrome logo on a matte charger.

So how can I report a fake device?

If you think you've purchased a counterfeit device--or you've seen what you believe are fake devices being sold--please contact us right away to let us know.

What can Google do about it?

We take this issue very seriously. We'll investigate every potential counterfeit case reported to us, and if necessary, we'll bring litigation.

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