Counterfeit and Sub-standard Electrical Products
The increase in the popularity of online shopping has made it easier than ever for counterfeiters to sell fake or sub-standard products to unsuspecting shoppers.
It can be impossible to tell whether a product is genuine by looking at its online listing. Although fake electrical products can appear sophisticated on the outside, they often contain faulty components that can overheat and catch fire or deliver a fatal electric shock. Listings can include imagery taken from official product sites, fake official safety marks and believable pricing and items can even be priced just a few pounds below the recommended retail value to avoid arousing suspicion.
Research carried out by the Charity has found that a third of the people who have bought fake electrical products purchased them from online marketplaces. These sites allow third party sellers to trade without adequate systems in place to detect counterfeit and substandard electrical products.
We believe that marketplaces must be required by law to take proactive steps to stop unsafe products being sold via their platforms.
Advice for Consumers
When you're shopping online, always buy from a retailer that you know and trust, either direct from the manufacturer’s website or a trusted High Street name – that way if something goes wrong, you can return the product for repair or a refund.
If you suspect you have purchased a fake, stop using it immediately. Report it to Trading Standards so that they can take action against the seller; selling fake products is illegal and puts people’s lives at risk.
Find out more about safe shopping online.