Fake or third party chargers for iPhones and MacBooks may be cheap, but a new study has found that they could be seriously dangerous to use.
A study carried out by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) in the UK tested 400 fake Apple chargers.
Out of the 400, only 3 passed a basic safety test.
The knock off cables, the likes of which are on sale at shopping malls and markets up and down Thailand, can be bought for as little as 100 baht.
Some of the problems found with the fake chargers included insufficient insulation to protect against electric shock, exposed or live parts and non-sleeved or counterfeit plugs.
Users have now been urged to check for both safety and authenticity before buying such goods.
How to spot a dangerous, counterfeit, mobile phone charger
According to the CTSI there are a few ways you can check to see if a charger is genuine.
A simple check of seeing if the charger easily plugs into a socket is sometimes enough to determine if it is counterfeit.
If it doesn’t plug in correctly the pins may be the wrong size or the distance between the pins may be wrong.
If pins don’t fit into the socket correctly it can lead to overheating and damage to both the charger and socket, both of which are dangerous.
The CTSI advises to make sure your charger has official brand names and logos, as well as a model or batch number. Also look out for valid safety markings for your respective region.
Typically an iPhone charger will have written “Designed by Apple in California” on it, along with a model number.
However, these markings can of course be easily forged.
Warnings and instructions
Genuine Apple chargers will come with instructions and basic safety information. Other tips include:
- Only using a genuine charger made and licenced for use with your product.
- Don’t over charge your product, once it is charged disconnect it and turn the charger off.
- Never cover your device while it’s being charged, don’t put it under a pillow at night or in contact with bedding.
- Never use a damaged charger with a cracked case or frayed cable or one that is not working properly.