A message from Electrical Safety First: Fake mobile phone chargers putting you at risk of electric shock and fire

Data shows that 85% of people own a smartphone in the UK. But are you aware that counterfeit phone chargers can be deadly?

With the support of Apple, Electrical Safety First tested a range of fake iPhone chargers bought from Amazon, Amazon Marketplace, eBay and independent discount stores and stalls.

The results showed that 98% of the chargers had the potential to cause a lethal electric shock or start a fire.

How to spot a fake charger?

1. Text and markings on the plug - Look for missing markings (like the CE mark) or spelling errors.
2. Plug pin finish - The finish on a genuine charger is high quality, matte and uniform.
3. USB port - The USB port on a counterfeit charger might be upside down, or in a different place.
4. Materials - A genuine plug will sound and feel solid, while counterfeit products will make a ‘plastic’ noise and feel hollow.
5. Weight - Counterfeit chargers contain few, if any, of the higher quality components required for safety, and are therefore lighter.
6. Shape and dimensions - The plug pins on a fake charger may be larger or smaller than a genuine one, and may be positioned in a different place.

To learn more about how to spot a fake mobile phone charger visit Electrical Safety First’s Chargers page.

Martyn Allen, Technical Director at Electrical Safety First and author of the research, reflected on the findings:

“We’re urging people to take care when buying a charger and recommend buying directly from trusted retailers only. When you buy a fake, at best you could damage your phone but at worst you could be putting your life, your family and your home at risk.”

For more information about the research read the Electrical Safety First press release on their website.