There's a 99 percent chance your fake Apple charger isn't safe

Bought your Apple charger online? Maybe read this before using it next.

Katie Collins Senior European Correspondent
Katie a UK-based news reporter and features writer. Officially, she is CNET's European correspondent, covering tech policy and Big Tech in the EU and UK. Unofficially, she serves as CNET's Taylor Swift correspondent. You can also find her writing about tech for good, ethics and human rights, the climate crisis, robots, travel and digital culture. She was once described a "living synth" by London's Evening Standard for having a microchip injected into her hand.
Katie Collins

Fake = dangerous.

Jaap Arriens, NurPhoto via Getty Images

Step away from the fake Apple charger -- it could be unsafe.

A study published by UK business watchdog Trading Standards Friday claimed that 99 percent of counterfeit Apple chargers bought online fail a basic safety test.

Investigators purchased 400 Apple chargers from different retailers around the world over the internet and put them through the tests that they would need to pass in order to be sold in shops in the UK. In all, 397 chargers failed.

Watch this: Fake Apple chargers fail safety tests

"Criminals across the globe are using online platforms to lure you in with cheap deals for fake items, many of which are dangerous and have been known to overheat and cause house fires," said Lord Toby Harris, chairman of Trading Standards, in a statement.

Even seemingly reputable retailers might not always be safe. In October, Apple filed a lawsuit against online sellers, after it was revealed 90 percent of iPhone chargers sold on Amazon were fake.

If you have an iPhone charging cable you bought online, you can use CNET's handy guide to figure out whether or not it is safe. Apple also provides its own guide to help you spot bogus Lightning connectors.

To be sure you're buying a bona fide Apple charger, it's best to buy directly from the company or another reliable retailer.