Consumers on edge after counterfeit adapter kills woman

A counterfeit purse can't hurt you. A counterfeit power charger could kill you.

These fakes aren't made as well and the real ones, and they haven't been safety tested.

"That means it could be a fire hazard or a shock hazard or even both," says John Drengenberg, consumer safety director at Underwriters Labs.

We were reminded of that again this week, when Apple announced an exchange program for customers with "counterfeit or third-party" power charges for the iPhone, iPod and iPad chargers that could shock the users.

"Certainly counterfeit charges of any kind for any product can look almost identical to the ones that are really meant for that product. Keep in mind, if you see anything suspicious, if there are misspellings on the label or strange punctuation it could be a fake charger. Even if the UL mark doesn't look like the usual UL with a circle, consider that a red flag and make sure you check it out before you use that charger," Drengenberg says.

If you ever need a replacement charger, make sure you buy one made by the manufacturer or a trusted electronics company.

More Information:
About Apple's Power Adapter Replacement Program (U.S. only)