Safety testers warn against fake Apple chargers

Where did you buy your Apple charger?

If you didn’t buy it from Apple, you might want to pay attention: 99 percent of fake Apple chargers bought online failed a basic safety test, according to a consumer protection organization in the U.K. and U.S.-based safety testers UL.

The testers said Friday that they looked at 400 counterfeit Apple chargers bought online “from suppliers around the world,” and 397 failed the safety test.

In October, Apple sued Mobile Star for trademark infringement, accusing it of selling fake chargers and cables on Amazon. In its lawsuit, the company included a review from a customer who bought one of the chargers and said it caught fire “after just a few hours of use on the very first day.”

Apple also said in the lawsuit that it found that almost 90 percent of supposed Apple products sold on Amazon were fake. (Amazon reportedly is stepping up its efforts against counterfeit items on its site.)

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute and UL offer the following tips to check whether your charger might be a safety risk:

  • Does it plug in easily? “If pins do not fit properly into the socket, overheating, arcing and mechanical damage can occur to both the socket and the charger, which can be dangerous,” Trading Standards Institute says. “There should be at least 9.5 mm between the edge of the pins and the edge of the charger.”
  • Check whether the voltage and ratings marks on the product and your mobile device match.
  • Look for warnings and instructions included with the charger.

Also, Apple does provide certification for third parties to make accessories for its products. Look for the “MFi” logo on those accessories.

 

Photo: Apple iPhone 7 Plus models. If you own an iPhone, what charger do you use? (Courtesy Apple)

 

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