Despite Amazon taking measures to eliminate all the counterfeit products currently flooding its marketplace, consumers are still getting casually ripped off by third party sellers. And it's not just a ripoff -- it could be dangerous.
In fact, some of the cheaper, knock-off iPhone chargers currently on the market have the capability of physically harming you, as a test from the UK watchdog group Trading Standards recently discovered. Testing a batch of 400 counterfeit iPhone chargers purchased from different online retailers across the world, Trading Standards found that only three chargers maintained enough insulation to prevent electric shocks when a high voltage was applied.
To put that in even more digestible terms, that means 99% of faulty chargers around the world failed a basic safety standards test, and are therefore capable of physically harming you through electrocution or starting a fire, according to the study.
This is alarming, given a recent suit filed by Apple, alleging that 90 percent of the iPhone chargers sold on Amazon were fake. The suit was filed against a third-party seller, reportedly for peddling faulty chargers disguised as legitimate Apple products.
Lord Toby Harris, chair of National Trading Standards, said of the study: “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.”
Trading Standards advises consumers to look for certain tell-tale signs that reveal whether a charger is counterfeit, such as subtly misspelled brand names or logos that look slightly askew.
But, there is hope, as anyone looking to avoid a house fire can follow Trading Standard’s guide for spotting faulty and potentially dangerous chargers, found in the bottom of its report.