HP Anti-counterfeit Report

Protect yourself against counterfeit print cartridges

In order to protect yourself from counterfeit printing supplies you should always follow each of these simple steps before you buy:

Step 1: Check the security label

All original HP toner cartridge boxes have an HP security label, which is positioned over the tear strip of the box.

In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, some but not all original HP inkjet print cartridge boxes feature an HP security label, too. If present, the HP security label can either be found in the upper right corner of the hangtab at the top of the box or on the left or right panel of the box.

The new HP Mobile Authentication label features holographic image-shifting properties in addition to the QR code. Perform the following steps to visually verify that the label is valid:

  • Tilt box front to back to see ‘OK’ and ‘√’ move in opposite directions.
  • Tilt box right to left to see ‘OK’ and ‘√’ move in the same direction (figure 1)
HP Security Label

Figure 1

In addition, the latest labels provide a unique code which you can validate using a smartphone ‘app’. For this, simply capture the Quick Response (QR) code printed on the label with a smartphone in order to access HP Mobile Authentication (figure 2). The QR code may be read with many free QR code readers such as i-nigma or with the reader included with the HP eSupplies app (where available). If you cannot capture QR codes with a smartphone, go to the HP Mobile Authentication website at the URL shown on new security labels (www.hp.com/go/ok) and enter the label’s serial number to validate the label.

QR code animation

Figure 2

  • A valid response indicates that the cartridge is safe for purchase.
  • An invalid response indicates that the cartridge may not be genuine.

You can validate the new security label online. Just go to the URL listed on the new security label and enter the label’s serial number.*

*The HP Mobile Authentication program is available only with security labels that feature the QR code.

How to inspect older security labels

Depending on the cartridge, region, and packaging date, Original HP print cartridge packaging may use security labels with the following holographic properties:

Colour-switching label (figure 3)

  1. Turn the box from side to side to see the colour change.
  2. When the background is dark, half of the lettering “ORIGINAL TONER” is light and vice versa.

Moving image label (figure 4)

  1. Tilt box front to back to see ‘OK’ and ‘√’ move in opposite directions.
  2. Tilt box right to left to see ‘OK’ and ‘√’ move in the same direction.
HP Security Label

Figure 3: Check the old laser security label by turning the box from side to side.

HP Security Label HP Security Label

Figure 4.

For comprehensive information on how to check HP security labels, please refer to the ‘Check your Purchases’ Info Sheet, which is available for download here.

Step 2: Look at the packaging

  • Boxes and packaging materials used for original HP print cartridges are of consistent and premium quality (figure 5). HP does not knowingly authorise the sale of products in packaging which is damaged or of poor quality
  • Non-standard packaging and packaging that appears to have been opened can be an indicator that the print cartridge is counterfeit
  • HP does not sell cartridges without packaging
Boxes and packaging materials

Figure 5: Boxes and packaging materials used for original HP print cartridges are of consistent and premium quality.

Step 3: Examine the print cartridge upon opening the packaging

  • Original HP print cartridges are always delivered unused (figure 6). There should be no damage, no ink leakage or toner dust on the body of the cartridge, no significant scratches or any signs of previous use on the print cartridge itself
  • All pull tabs should remain unbroken and should be consistent with those found on genuine HP products
Original HP print cartridges

Figure 6: Original HP print cartridges are always delivered unused.

Step 4: Only purchase from reputable resellers and retailers

HP sells printing supplies through authorised sales channels. To avoid fakes, you should refrain from accepting any suspicious sales offers. If an offer sounds ‘too good to be true’, it probably is. To protect yourself from falling victim to dubious offers, you should only buy from HP’s authorised sales channels and reputable retailers. Through the HP Smart Partner Locator, which is available on your local HP website, you can find a list of HP’s Supplies Partners for your country. Just go to www.hp.com -> click on ‘Find your HP Partner’ and search for your local suppliers.

Step 5: Use authentication software

HP’s free authentication software checks if print cartridges installed in your HP printing devices are genuine:

  • The ‘HP Inkjet Cartridge Authentication’ feature is part of the primary printer software suite that comes as standard on most inkjet printers.
  • The ‘HP Toner Cartridge Authentication’ software is compatible with many existing HP LaserJet printers and MFPs introduced since 2004, and is available as a free download from www.hp.com/go/TonerCheck.

Please note that a print cartridge will be checked only once by this software; any further removal and re-installation of the print cartridge will result in a notification that the print cartridge has been ‘used’.

For additional information on how to spot suspicious print cartridges, please refer to the links and downloads section.