Online shopping is one of the most convenient things to ever have come from the internet. Most every retail store has a website that you can order products from directly. Then you have sites like Amazon and eBay where you can find pretty much anything you could imagine to buy, and many times at a great price.
One thing that you do need to watch out for when shopping online is counterfeit products. A new report says that some of these fake items could endanger your life.
Safety checks were recently performed on fake Apple chargers and the results are shocking! There were 400 counterfeit chargers tested and only three of them passed. That means that 99 percent of the fake chargers failed a basic safety test.
What's the danger?
Safety specialists at UL performed the tests that were commissioned by the Trading Standards Institute (TSI), a consumer protection body in the U.K. What they found was 99 percent of the fake Apple chargers didn't have enough insulation to provide protection against electric shocks.
The fake chargers were purchased online from eight countries, including the U.S. They tested for sufficient insulation by applying high voltage to the chargers. The CEO of TSI said you might save a little money by purchasing from third-party vendors, but it could cost you your home or even your life.
Fake chargers and power adapters can be quite dangerous. They can be poorly made and haven't gone through industry-standard consumer safety testing. These counterfeit items are such a problem that Apple recently brought a lawsuit against a company for selling them on Amazon.
How to spot a counterfeit charger
The best way to know you're not buying a fake charger is to purchase it from a trusted supplier. When you order items from third-party vendors it's a risk. Here are some things TSI says to look for to spot a fake charger:
- Markings - Check the brand name or logo on the product. Counterfeit items could have design mistakes or even be misspelled.
- Plug-ins - Plug the charger into a socket before plugging it into your gadget. Make sure the pins are the correct size and fit into the socket properly. If it doesn't fit in easily, don't use it.
- Warnings - Real chargers come with user warnings and instructions. Make sure your charger has a set of instructions on how to operate it safely.
- Damage - You should never use a charger that has visible damage. If the cable is worn or torn, do not use it.
Another safety tip would be to never cover a gadget while it is charging. This could cause it to overheat.
Have you ever purchased a charger from a third-party vendor? Leave a comment and tell us about your experiences.