Intel is investigating the source of fake Core i7 processors, after a customer of an online PC shop bought one that turned out to be counterfeit.
The chipmaker has been made aware of "the potential for counterfeit i7-920 packages in the marketplace" and is trying to figure out where and how many are being sold, Intel said in a statement on Sunday.
"The examples we have seen are not Intel products but are counterfeits," the company said. "Buyers should contact their place of purchase for a replacement and/or should contact their local law-enforcement agency if the place of purchase refuses to help."
The Core i7 is a high-end chipset for PCs, based on Intel's Nehalem technology, which launched at the end of 2008.
On Thursday, a user called Nix reported on the HardOCP forum that he had ordered a Core i7-920 — a mid-level desktop model of Intel's high-end chipset — from the online store Newegg, only to receive "a fake CPU and a plastic mold of the heat sink and fan with a sticker on it".
A few other HardOCP members then reported similar experiences, while a YouTube user also posted a video of the counterfeit goods he had received.
Newegg sent a statement to HardOCP on Friday, saying its internal investigations of the issue had shown that one of its long-term distributor partners had "mistakenly shipped a small number of demo boxes instead of functional units".
ZDNet UK has approached Newegg for comment on the situation, but had received no reply at the time of writing.