I think I've bought a counterfeit

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How to spot if you’ve bought a fake item: Inspect the packaging and item carefully

Answered by Dave, Electrical Safety Expert

How to spot if you’ve bought a fake item:

Inspect the packaging and item carefully.

Look out for the tell-tale signs of flimsy packaging and substandard printing, such as spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. If you’re questioning the packaging, compare your item to an online image from a trusted, high street retailer. But also bear in mind that a lot of fake products can look just like the real thing so it isn't possible to tell whether it's fake or genuine without having an expert take the product apart.

Look for a legitimate safety certification mark and the CE mark.

Electrical products are likely to have a certification mark on their label if made by a legitimate manufacturer. If a CE mark is present only on the packaging, but not on the product itself, there's a good chance the product is fake. The CE mark is applied by the manufacturer, so even that isn't a guarantee that the product is genuine.

Make sure everything that should be there is there.

Fake products may not include supplementary materials such as a manual or a product registration card or even all the parts!

Check the plug.

If you’ve purchased your product from a UK retailer, look to see whether the appliance has a three-pin UK plug or charger.

Trust your instinct – you’re probably right.

If you are still uncertain about your product for any reason, you’re probably right to be wary. Visit the high street to compare your product to those on sale in store; if your item varies in any way do not use it. Only shop from retailers you know and trust.

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