Fake OtterBox Phone Cases: 5 Ways to Spot the Difference

Scammers have been selling fake OtterBox cases for years. With scammers stepping up their game, it's a problem that's bound to keep escalating in the near future.

Jesse Sumrak
Updated 21 May 2021
Fake OtterBox Phone Cases: 5 Ways to Spot the Difference
Share to

United States Counterfeit Goods Statistics

$1.3 billion in counterfeit items seized each year
$200 billion yearly loss to businesses

$959 billion (estimated value of the counterfeit market by 2022)

Source: Library of U.S. Congress

Sections on this page
  1. Genuine Vs. Fake Otterbox Cases—5 Ways to Spot the Difference
  2. What Are Fake OtterBox Phone Cases?
  3. Where Are Fake OtterBox Phone Cases Sold?
  4. How to Identify Fake OtterBoxes in the Online Listings
  5. What to Do If You Purchased a Fake OtterBox Phone Case
  6. Where to Buy Real OtterBox Phone Cases
  7. Frequently Asked Questions

A fake phone case might not seem like a big deal, but when it comes to OtterBox, there's no room for compromise. OtterBox provides high-end phone cases that deliver water-resistant, shock-resistant, and drop-resistant properties. Buy a fake OtterBox case instead, and your phone might not survive even the slightest fall.

Genuine Vs. Fake Otterbox Cases—5 Ways to Spot the Difference

Everything from the packaging to the product to the QR code contains opportunities for you to identify fakes. We use the following tactics to quickly determine if a product is original or counterfeit:

  • Start with the packaging
  • Check the tint on the screen protector
  • Feel the case texture
  • Spin the belt clips
  • Look for imperfections

1. Start With the Packaging

You'll often be able to identify a fake before you even examine the actual case. Scammers usually prioritize the product and slip up on the nuances (like the packaging).

For example, original OtterBoxes use a sticker QR on their packaging. Fakes try to appear more legitimate and print the QR code onto the outer box, but that's a clear sign of a knockoff.

While you're looking at the QR, go ahead and scan it with your phone—scammers sometimes fail to link their QR codes to the right products and pages.

Real vs. fake Otterbox QR code
If the QR code on Otterbox doesn't work, it's likely a fake. (Source: alltheluck)

Next, look at the overall branding and quality. Fakes' packaging will feel more flimsy (usually because they are), whereas authentic OtterBoxes feel sturdy and robust. Check the colors and fonts to ensure they align with OtterBox's brand.

Take a look at the OtterBox security hologram on the top of their packages. Original OtterBox holograms feature the OtterBox logo, but you'll notice the "O" has a different color and sheen than the rest of the letters. If all the letters in your hologram look the same, then there's a good chance it's a fake.

Real vs. fake Otterbox hologram sticker.
Genuine Otterbox cases will have a hologram sticker on the box. The "O" will have a different sheen than the rest of the letters. Fake Otterbox cases will show the same reflective coating on all letters. (Source: alltheluck)

2. Check the Screen Protector's Tint

Original OtterBox cases use a clear screen protector, while fakes often have a slight tint. You can see the fake green cellophane screen protector in the image below compared to the transparent, unfiltered protector on the original.

Real vs fake Otterbox screen tint
Fake Otterbox cases often have a green tint on the screen protector. (Source: Mobile Fun)

3. Feel the Case Texture

OtterBox cases are intended to be damage-resistance, and that damage resistance starts with prevention. OtterBox phone cases have a grippy rubber exterior on the back and sides of the case to decrease the chance that the phone will slide out of your hands or off a surface.

Fakes don't use the same high-end materials. Often, they'll just use thicker plastic. If the case is smooth and slippery, there there's a good chance it's a fake.

4. Spin the Belt Clips

The belt clip spin is a clear giveaway if you have an original and a fake side by side, but it's not so apparent if you only have one product. Original OtterBox belt clips feel sturdy, and they're somewhat hard to spin—not in a malfunctioning way, but more in a strong, intentional way. On the other hand, fakes are cheaper and easy to turn, making them less secure on your belt.

5. Look for Teeny-Tiny Errors

Nitty-gritty mistakes will vary from fake to fake, but there's almost always a tell-tale sign you can find if you look closely enough. Look for things like:

  • Font irregularities (e.g., different sizing, different fonts in the same sentence, etc.)
  • Misspellings and grammatical errors
  • Misalignment of letters
  • Irregular spacing

What Are Fake OtterBox Phone Cases?

Fake OtterBox phone cases are knockoff products meant to imitate seemingly indestructible phone cases from the well-known brand, OtterBox. Scammers create these counterfeits with cheap materials that don't provide the damage-resistance characteristics that OtterBox guarantees.

Scammers have perfected their trade, and it's becoming harder than ever to distinguish the originals from the fakes. Fortunately, there are a few telltale signs that'll help you buy the authentic product. Below, we'll show you where scammers commonly list fake products, and then we'll walk you through the steps to spot the fakes.

Where Are Fake OtterBox Phone Cases Sold?

Scammers primarily use e-commerce platforms and fake websites to sell fake OtterBox phone cases. Below is a list of the most common places scammers sell fakes:

These websites all sell original OtterBox phone cases, too, so you'll need to do your due diligence before making any purchase. Later on in this guide, we'll show you how to identify a scam from looking at the listing alone—a skill that's essential for online deal hunters.

How to Identify Fake OtterBoxes in the Online Listings

If you don't have the luxury of handling an OtterBox in person, you'll have to trust the online listing is legitimate. Fortunately, this is where most scammers slip up. Look for these telltale signs to identifying scam listings online:

  • Scrutinize the price: OtterBox cases for new models of phones usually cost around $60. If a seller lists a case for $5, $10, or even $15, it's almost always a fake. If the price seems too good to be true, it usually is.
  • Check approved retailers: OtterBox published a list of approved retailers. If your seller isn't on the list, then there's always a chance it's a scam.
  • Read the reviews: Look at the 5-star reviews to see if they're authentic from genuine customers. If they seem replicated or fake, be cautious moving forward.
  • Double-check the seller: If you're buying from a third-party seller on an e-commerce platform, then verify the seller's information to make sure it's consistent. For example, it'd be a red flag if your seller's business was named Phone Cases Deluxe, but their email address was [email protected].
  • Look for typos in the description: Scammers often make grammar mistakes and typos—these are clear signs of a fake. Also, scammers sometimes copy/paste product descriptions from retail sites. Plug the product description into a plagiarism checker to see if that's the case for the listing in question.

What to Do If You Purchased a Fake OtterBox Phone Case

If you've purchased a fake OtterBox phone case, don't panic. First, stop using the fake case. The phony case is likely made with cheap materials that won't protect your phone, and OtterBox won't honor any money-back guarantee or protection for a counterfeit product. Next, it's time to try and recover your money.

We've listed a few different methods depending on the site you likely purchased your fake from:

  • Amazon: File an A-to-Z Guarantee to start your refund process with Amazon.
  • eBay: Request your money back by contacting eBay's customer service.
  • Wish: Take advantage of Wish's 30-day return policy. Keep in mind that many products are excluded under their list of exceptions. Wish has a somewhat poor reputation for selling fake products, so always be cautious buying on the platform.
  • Craigslist: Craigslist has no protection for buyers or sellers. Be careful buying anything on the platform. If you believe you've been scammed, report the fraud so that Craiglist can protect future buyers.
  • Facebook Marketplace: Facebook Marketplace doesn't provide protections for sellers and buyers.
  • Walmart Marketplace: Use the Walmart Marketplace Promise to recover your funds.

You can also report fake cases to the authorities, including your local police and the Federal Trade Commission.

Where to Buy Real OtterBox Phone Cases

OtterBox recommends buyers purchase from OtterBox's website or their list of approved retailers:

  • Verizon
  • Best Buy
  • AT&T
  • Walmart
  • Sprint
  • Target
  • T-Mobile
  • Amazon
  • Apple Store

You can find original OtterBox cases on popular sites like eBay and Amazon, but you'll have to sift through the scams to ensure you're buying the authentic product.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you spot a fake OtterBox case?

You can spot fake OtterBox cases through various tests. You'll be able to find signs in everything from the online listing to the packaging to the product materials. 

Does Amazon sell fake OtterBox cases?

Yes and no. Amazon sells original OtterBox cases, but scammers exploit the platform, too. You'll need to rely on our product listing analysis tips to determine if any product listing is authentic. The best place to buy an authentic OtterBox case is from authorized retailers or from OtterBox directly.

Do fake OtterBoxes work?

Fake OtterBoxees work to some extent, but they don't provide the same protection and guarantees that original products do. Original OtterBox cases are made with high-end materials to protect your devices from various spills, slips, and falls. Both originals and fakes will protect your device from superficial cracks and scratches, but only authentic OtterBox cases will provide the all-in protection you're looking (and paying) for.

Does Walmart sell fake Otterdoxes?

No, Walmart does not sell fake OtterBoxes. Walmart is one of OtterBox's approved retailers. However, sellers on the Walmart Marketplace can sell knockoffs and counterfeits.

Do fake OtterBoxes come with a lifetime warranty?

No, OtterBoxes do not come with a lifetime warranty. See OtterBox's global product warranty page for details on their warranty limitations and periods.


Featured Reads