Have you ever bought an iPhone charger? How confident are you that it’s genuine? Counterfeit phone chargers are a real issue and can put you and others at risk.
Genuine iPhone chargers cost upwards of £15 on the Apple store, but a quick search online and you’re faced with chargers ranging in price from 99p right through to £20. It may be tempting to go for one of the more budget options, but in our hunt for a bargain do we consider the dangers of plugging a fake device into the mains?
After a number of incidents involving imitation chargers – ranging from scorched charger casing to house fires – the London Fire Brigade (LFB) has warned that buying a fake device could be a risky decision. The LFB put some widely available counterfeits to the test, and found real and dangerous differences between these and genuine chargers.
Dangerous discounted devices
The standard of the fakes varied immensely, but on average they contained less than half the components in their circuitry compared to their genuine counterparts. There were other concerns too – flammable casing, irregular pins and upside-down USB sockets could all cause dangerous issues for the user. Plus, you have no guarantee that a fake has undergone any of the safety checks that Apple will put its chargers through.
Fire investigator Andrew Vaughan-Davies said:
‘I was shocked at how potentially dangerous these chargers are. There have been some near misses in the last few months and, unless people stop buying them, it’s only a matter of time before we are called to a fatal fire.
‘For the sake of saving a few pounds is it worth putting the lives of your family at risk and taking the chance of potentially destroying your home?’
Spotting a fake phone charger
There are some tell-tale signs that identify the counterfeit charges, such as its weight, the position and colour of the writing on the base, and the finish and uniformity of the pins. One example even had the word safety misspelled on it – definitely a warning sign!
However, these identifying factors only become obvious once the device is in your hands. So, make sure you buy your chargers from a reputable seller – read our advice on how to find websites that only sell genuine products. We also have more advice on how to spot a fake iPhone charger on our sister site Which? Tech Daily.
Have you ever been tempted by a counterfeit iPhone charger, and have you had any issues with it? Do you feel confident that you could spot a fake?