That fake Apple charger is almost definitely going to end in disaster

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple may ask top-shelf prices for its branded gear, but it appears settling on a cheaper, third-party alternative could possibly present hazards of its own.

Trading Standards, a UK consumer authority, is urging buyers to be wary of chargers masquerading as Apple-approved equipment following a UL report which found that only 1% of the counterfeit products it studied could pass a basic safety test, according to the BBC.

The tests were spurred by complaints from Apple that a multitude of fake chargers were being sold on Amazon. Out of 400 counterfeit chargers UL tested - sold across eight different countries - only three possessed sufficient insulation to protect from electric shock.

In response, authorities recommend look out for genuine products by keeping an eye on how the pins fit (or don't) into a socket, markings that indicate the charger has passed regulator inspection or other company logos, and the inclusion of user instructions and warnings. 

While many brands out there are still legit, going with an  'Appel' charger over an Apple one just to save some cash can have  negative consequences - to include the risk of fire, shock, damaged  electronics, or simply wasted money on a junk accessory.

Of course, Apple sells its own wall plugs and chargers direct from its website, so there's always that avenue.

Parker Wilhelm
Parker Wilhelm is a freelance writer for TechRadar. He likes to tinker in Photoshop and talk people's ears off about Persona 4.