You just got scammed!

If you’re reading this, you were about to purchase a potentially deadly electrical product.

We know it’s easy to miss those small details that give away a fake, especially in the rush of Christmas shopping and trying to grab a bargain. We’ve found that an estimated nine million UK shoppers have purchased a fake electrical product as a Christmas gift in the past – pretty scary when you think about the fact that fake internal components in electrical items are at risk of exploding, leaving you open to serious injury or property damage.

Here are some steps to take next time you’re shopping online – don’t be fooled!

  • Buy electrical products from reputable retailers. This way you can be assured you’re buying the real thing as some fake products can be hard to identify
  • Check prices and shop around! Check online shops and if possible, visit the high street. If a bargain looks too good to be true, it probably is!
  • Check that the voltage is 230-240V, 50Hz and that they are fitted with a three-pin UK plug or charger
  • Look for the padlock symbol at the bottom of the screen when you are filling in your payment details.
  • Beware of glowing reviews, especially if the reviewers aren’t verified. Some sites cross-reference user reviews with their buyer database and label those people as "verified purchasers"  
  • Beware of words qualifying an item’s authenticity. If the seller claims the product is ‘genuine’, ‘real’ or ‘authentic’ double check the source. Most reputable retailers don’t need to sell their products like this.
  • Look for the seller’s contact details. For online marketplaces, look for a full address and not just a PO Box number.
  • For websites, check the address - not all websites with a .co.uk address are based in the UK
  • Read product guarantees, terms and conditions, and returns policies before you buy

Remember, when you buy a fake, at best you’re being swindled – but at worst, you could be putting your life at risk.

For more information visit electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/spotthefake