Are you using a fake charger with your Apple device? A new study carried out by a global independent safety firm found that 99% of these fake Apple chargers sold online are unfit to qualify even a basic safety test.
These tests were undertaken by UL safety specialists and made as per the U.K.’s Chartered Trading Standards Institute and the results were surprising. Only 3 out of the 400 counterfeit chargers which were purchased online had enough insulation to ensure user protection against electric shocks.
“It might cost a few pounds more, but counterfeit and second-hand goods are an unknown entity that could cost you your home or even your life, or the life of a loved-one”,
said Leon Livermore, chief executive of Chartered Trading Standards Institute. He also advised shoppers to buy those second-hand electrical goods that have been tested and buy online electrical goods from trusted suppliers only.
Apple said in October that it had filed a lawsuit against a third-party vendor that was putting customers “at risk” by selling counterfeit power adapters. According to Gillian Guy, chief executive of the U.K.’s Citizens Advice.
Counterfeit electrical goods are likely to be poor quality and in the worst cases unsafe. Look out for tell-tale signs of counterfeiting such as mistakes in brand names or logos, and check plugs for safety marks – all genuine electrical items made in the EU should have a CE mark on them.
Trading Standards has publicized a press release pointing out some safety advisers for consumers to keep in mind to spot a fake charger:
- Plug pins– Check pin size before buying a charger. Plug the charger into a socket, but don’t switch it on or connect to a device. If the charger does not fit easily, the pins may be the wrong size. If you’re able to measure, there should be at least 9.5mm between the edge of the pins and the edge of the charger.
- Markings– While buying a charger, make sure it has proper regulation markings, safety warnings and instructions on the product and its packing. Check for the “CE” safety mark, but be aware it can be easily imitated.
- Warnings and instructions– User instructions should include conditions and limitations of use, how to operate the charger safely, basic electrical safety guidance and details of safe disposal.
- Charging– Refrain from over charging your appliances. Do not cover devices while charging. Do not use a charger with a cracked case or worn-out cable.
Selling fake products online issue has been acknowledged by the world’s largest online retailer Amazon as well. Nevertheless, it is up to us to ensure our safety by sticking to genuine products. When buying “genuine” iPhone, iPad, and Mac chargers and accessories, if the price is way below retail, do a proper inspection.