From face masks to hand sanitizer and onto vaccine passports: almost all of the products that have been in high demand during the past few months have inevitably provided an opportunity for fraudsters looking to make easy money from counterfeits.
It is not surprising, therefore, that industry experts are looking at the growing global chip shortage with a degree of anxiety. There, too, demand is surpassing supply – and it is only a question of time before the market is flooded with semiconductors that just about pass for authentic, but in reality, are illegal products that could pose huge safety risks.
Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, in effect, electronic device makers have come under the pressure of unprecedented demand from consumers. With companies and individuals alike rushing to purchase PCs, smartphones, tablets and gaming consoles, manufacturers have suddenly found themselves needing vast amounts of semiconductors – the tiny components that constitute the "brain" of most electronics, and which are produced in most cases by third-party companies called foundries.
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