How To Spot A Fake USB Charger

You don’t need to be an electronics expert to spot the difference between a genuine and fake USB charger.  This guide will tell you everything you need to know.

Plug Pin Finish

This can be another fairly obvious indicator of a fake. The finish on a genuine charger is high quality, matte and uniform. On counterfeit chargers the finish maybe glossy or shiny with imperfections.

USB Port

The USB port on a counterfeit charger might be upside down, or in a different place. A genuine charger may also have a serial number.

Materials

Testing has shown that the pins on counterfeit plugs are much weaker than required by the standard. This is typically because they are metal-coated hollow plastic, rather than the solid metal used in genuine products. An easy check for this is to simply flick the largest pin and listen to the noise it makes. A genuine plug will sound and feel solid, while counterfeit products will make a ‘plastic’ noise and feel hollow.

Weight

Counterfeit chargers contain few, if any, of the higher quality components required for safety, they are usually significantly lighter than genuine chargers.

Plug Fit

Do not connect up to your phone etc just yet.  Does it plug in easily? If the charger does not easily plug into a socket, the pins may be the wrong size or length, or the distance between the pins may be wrong. 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.

Markings

Look for a manufacturer’s brand name or logo, model and batch number.

Check for a CE mark.  But do not rely on a CE mark alone as a guarantee of safety – it’s simply a declaration by the manufacturer that the product meets all the safety requirements of European law, but they can be easily forged.

Check that the output voltage and current ratings marked on the charger and your electrical device are the same.

Warnings and Instructions

Adequate warnings and instructions must be provided. As a minimum, user instructions should provide information on conditions and limitations of use, how to operate the charger safely, basic electrical safety guidance and details of how to safely dispose of the charger when it is no longer required.

Useful Information

Apple has produced this document that will help you identify fake apple products.





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The above image and some information in this page has been taken from https://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk



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