Chip shortages result in record wire fraud reports by desperate buyers

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A severe semiconductor shortage has resulted in record wire fraud cases last year reported by desperate buyers, a company that tracks counterfeit and fraud in the chip industry said on Tuesday.

ERAI Inc said in 2021 there were 101 wire fraud cases reported to the US-based firm, up from 70 in 2020 and 17 five years ago.

Companies looking for chips they could not find through authorised and vetted distributors were trying to buy them from shadier brokers and transferring funds for goods that never got delivered, ERAI president Mark Snider said.
Reporting is voluntary and most of the wire fraud was by chip brokers in China, he said.

While there is a government counterfeit parts database called GIDEP, or Government-Industry Data Exchange Program, it doesn’t allow anonymous reporting, making ERAI the main database that companies use for navigating counterfeit chip problems and reporting fraud, according to industry experts.

Still, the latest data showed…

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