At best counterfeit products do not work as well as genuine items. At worst they represent a serious risk to your safety. Before you buy, check any new devices are certified genuine items and make sure you get the real deal.
What is the problem with counterfeit electrical goods?
Counterfeit devices are not tested against safety standards and are often made from poor quality materials. This means they could easily catch fire, burn or electrocute users.
Additionally, fake goods are often manufactured and trafficked by organized crime networks with the proceeds being used to fund other crimes such as human trafficking, drug smuggling and terrorism.
Tips to avoid buying fake items
- Unusual packaging is the most obvious sign that a product is fake. Check all packaging for spelling and grammatical errors, especially the company name and instructions.
- Other signs include discoloured or blurred ink, unusual layouts or fonts and absence of a certification label.
- Beware of low prices. If a device is advertised at a price far below its normal value or does not include usual purchase taxes, it is likely to be a fake.
- Avoid buying premium products from unknown traders. Most high-end electronics companies will only sell their products from their own or reputable outlets. If you are shopping for a particular brand, check their official website to find a list of approved retailers.
- Check the device’s specifications and quality against those of the genuine item. For example, make sure it has the correct memory capacity, is in the right colour or looks well-constructed.
What to do if you think your device is fake
Stop using the device. Fake devices can catch fire or cause injury.
Report the device to the brand manufacturer and your local trading standards authority.