Dangerous electrical product counterfeits found, seized
Two recent counterfeit raids in the United Kingdom are a stark reminder that counterfeit products could be right under your nose in local markets, retailers and online.
In the first instance, more than £4.2 million in counterfeit goods were found and seized at the Wellesbourne Airfield Market, one of the U.K.’s largest outdoor markets, during the height of the holiday season.
During this sweep, the Stratford Observer explains that after testing the counterfeit electrical items found, it was determined the counterfeiters had, “used wiring so thin it could melt in use—risking fire or electrocution.” In addition, electrical items were manufactured with, “‘fake’ fuses that were of such poor quality that even if they blew they might continue to conduct electricity.”
A second raid, where the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) and Lewisham Council’s Trading Standard officers recently joined forces, resulted in the shutdown of a suspected illegal business believed to be selling counterfeit electrical products online and in stores across London.
In PIPCU’s biggest raid to date, officials arrested four suspects, confiscating various counterfeit electrical goods including “fake branded” chargers and batteries.
These counterfeit raids prove that counterfeit electrical products—and dangerous ones as that—are in the marketplace and can easily be bought without even realizing it.
In our increasingly competitive marketplace, the potential to earn tremendous profits through the sale of counterfeits drives counterfeiters to stop at nothing to deceive prospective customers into believing that their products are genuine. This makes detecting the difference between a counterfeit and an authentic product difficult, especially as counterfeiters become more sophisticated.
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICCWBO) estimates that 80% of consumers in the developed and developing world regularly purchase products that include counterfeit parts and most are unaware that they are doing so or of the dangers that are involved.
For this reason, the best way to avoid counterfeit electrical products is to buy authentic from the manufacturers’ authorized distributors or resellers.
For additional ways you can avoid and identify counterfeit electrical products, please refer back to my previous post, “Know what you can do about counterfeit electrical products.”
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness, training, and prevention. This involves building awareness of the risks that counterfeit electrical products present to personal safety and the economy with end customers, contractors, inspectors, and electrical resellers.