Consumers are being urged to think twice when it comes to buying cheap, counterfeit chargers following the publication of a study, which shows that 99% of counterfeit Apple chargers bought online fail basic safety tests.
The study was commissioned by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute in the UK and tested 400 chargers purchased online. Only three of those 400 passed a basic safety test. The most common issue with the chargers tested was insufficient insulation to protect users from electric shock. This is an issue that could cause fires.
“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, Chartered Trading Standards Institute chief executive.
Lord Toby Harris, chair of National Trading Standards, said: “Many of us quite rightly assume that everything we buy will be safe, but recent work by our teams show how dangerous electrical goods can easily end up in homes up and down the country. Criminals across the globe are using online platforms to lure you in with cheap deals for fake items, many of which are dangerous and have been known to overheat and cause house fires. Protecting consumers from harm is our top priority and National Trading Standards teams are working closely with partners – including search engines, social media platforms and producers – to remove dangerous electrical items from our supply chain."
Customers are urged to 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.