Fake chargers could cause electric shocks and destroy gadgets, warns Hampshire County Council Trading Standards
Fake iPhone chargers that can destroy gadgets or even cause electric shocks are being sold in Hampshire.
Warnings have been issued by Hampshire County Council Trading Standards service to the public not to buy the 'extremely dangerous' triangular Apple-style mains chargers, which can also be used for iPads and other Apple products.
Wiring and manufacturing faults inside the products means that the low-voltage USB outlet may in some actually be at mains voltage, at 240 volts.
The chargers are easily recognised as they have the words Emerson Network Power on the plug in small print, accompanied by the statement Made in China.
Emerson Newtwork Power is a US company which does not make these products.
Traders are also being warned that selling the chargers in the knowledge that they are unsafe could be hit with a fine of up to £20,000, plus a compensation claim if injury is caused.
Councillor Roy Perry, leader of Hampshire County Council and executive member for policy and resources, said: "The manufacturers of these products do not carry out the safety testing required to ensure their products meet EU safety requirements.
"The consequences are that the products can fail in many ways, from not working, to overheating and destroying the device being charged, and potential electrocution."
Hampshire's trading standards officers recently stopped a consignment of 6,000 of the chargers being held in customs-controlled storage from entering the supply chain, and took away 40 that were surrendered voluntarily by traders across the county.
Members of the public who have bought one of the chargers are advised to stop using it and obtain a full refund from the supplier, as they are entitled to do.
In order to remove the products from the supply chain, however, those who have bought the chargers are being asked to contact the trading standards team on 01962 833620 or the Citizens Advice Bureau consumer helpline on 08454 040506.