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Counterfeit Cisco equipment, how to correctly identify them?



First, sorry for bad English and sorry if I’m posting it on the wrong forum – I looked for the right forum for this subject but didn’t find any.


I’m new at Cisco products here at the company I work at and, as we bough some new Cisco 4300 routers (about 14 unities), I received the task to install and configure them in our datacenter network.


But I’m afraid the Cisco routers we bought can be counterfeit somehow. As I’m not experienced at Cisco products, and as I did not find any good answer on the wide web, I ask for help seeing if I’m wrong with my suspicion. There are the issues I found with the routers:


1. The Router label does NOT have PID, VID and SN;


2. TELEPERMIT tag on the router label identifies the product as Cisco 3900, when it should identify the model that was purchased from the 4300 series.


3. MODEL tag on the router does NOT identify the model of the router, only showing the name of the manufacturer (‘Cisco’), where the model ISR 4331 should be written.


You all can see the aforementioned problems on the attached photo(file "label.jpg").


4. The PID and VID are shown in the CLI inventory info, however, as these values are not printed on the box label (nor on the equipment chassis), it was not possible to check the values.


5. I saw that the chassis labels on most of them seem to not be complete, as if the last part of them was cut off somehow (are different from the labels on the other Cisco routers). See attached photo (file "maybe_cut_label.jpg") to see what I’m talking about. Are those label adulterated somehow or are them OK?


About the aforementioned problems, the vendor just answered that “they’re all just like this”. Is him lying to me? Or the Cisco routers are in fact just like this?


Despite those problems, there are two more:


6. Displays the message “Registered / Out of Compliance” at boot. (what this means to me?)


7. When I did check the Cisco routers part numbers, I realized that they’re already linked to some German company that I don’t know. What do that mean? Can I use this equipment as mine, just overwriting the owner info with mine’s?


About the problems #6 & #7, the vendor JUST said to “run with IOS system”. Is this OK, or the problem ir beyond that?



Thanks in advance for all the advice you can give me to help me to correctly identify some counterfeit equipment and have a great day.


See you.


VIP Expert

First start with serial number check :



Regarding 6 and 7, are you register smartnet license?

if that is register with another company, maybe this kit are refurbished or used - check with the vendor whom you purchased.


*** Rate All Helpful Responses ***

Hall of Fame Community Legend

Contact the nearest Cisco office (and not a Cisco-authorized dealer/reseller) and provide them with all the serial numbers of the routers and switches.  They should be able to verify very quickly. 

NOTEDo not provide screenshots of the serial numbers.

VIP Engager

If you want to get an official answer from cisco if your devices are genuine or not, you can contact Cisco Brand Protection team which is in charge of verifying exactly this type of things:


Stay safe,



Hey, thanks for the answers. I'll use the info provided to check if the routers are OK. As said by @balaji.bandi , I totally suspect that they're all used. There are some other inconsistencies that I'll address to Cisco by the mail provided by @msdaniluk ; I hope they can send me a light over my questions.


Thanks you all for the answers.

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