Apple accused a third-party seller on Amazon of faking the authenticity of its iPhone chargers a couple of months ago. Now, an independent research firm has come up with a warning that such phony chargers present a huge risk.

iPhone chargers
adapt by theilr on 2014-11-15 19:10:24

Only 1% of chargers are safe

The U.K.’s Chartered Trading Standards Institute conducted a study recently. It referred to fake devices as “unknown entities.” Leon Livermore, CEO of the institute, warned that fake products may seem less expensive than authentic ones, but their actual cost could end up being much higher.

“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,” Livermore said.

The Trading Standards Institute tested 400 purported iPhone chargers and found that only three (or less than 1%) had enough insulation to safeguard a user against electric shocks. For testing purposes, a high amount of voltage was applied to the chargers, which were purchased online in eight different countries, including China, Australia and the U.S.

In a separate study, it was found that 15% of the of the 3,019 electrical goods bought second-hand were not compliant with regulations, notes the BBC. Researchers advise it is always unsafe to use electrical items which come from antique dealers, second-hand shops, and charity shops, as many come with failings like basic insulation and counterfeit plugs.

How to spot fake iPhone chargers

Just weeks ago, Apple filled a lawsuit against Mobile Star for allegedly selling fake chargers on Amazon. Apple purchased and tested more than 100 Lightning cables and chargers marked as “Fulfilled by Amazon” and found that 90% of them were fake.

To help buyers check if their Apple device chargers are authentic or not, the Trading Standards Institute issued a few guidelines. First, the plug must swiftly fit into the power socket without applying any force; second, always search for Apple branding, the UL and CE safety marks and a batch number (these can be faked though); last, if your charger does not come with instructions and safety materials, it might be fake.

Nevertheless, the best option always is to buy directly from Apple or from a well-known third-party accessory maker like Monoprice, Kensington, Belkin and more. As a precautionary measure, consumers are always advised not to overcharge their gadgets, never cover their devices when charging and never use a charger with a frayed cable or cracked case.

Photo by theilr