A WOMAN fears someone could be blinded by fake electrical appliances after a phone charger she bought on line exploded.
Marie Knight, from Portland, wants to warn others about the dangers of buying off the internet.
Ms Knight, 36, bought what she believed to be a genuine Apple iPhone charger for £5 from online auction site eBay but when she plugged the charger in she said it exploded, creating black smoke and damaging the plug socket so badly someone had to be called out to fix it.
The force of the explosion was so strong that it split the charging unit open and tripped the fuse switch in her house.
She said: “I bought it to replace a previous charger that was getting a bit dodgy. The box says ‘genuine Apple product, designed in California’ and it has all the CE marks.”
“I want to warn others so they can be wary, I don’t want them to be blinded by something like this.
“I just plugged in my phone and it exploded straight away, imagine if there was no problem at first and it had been left to charge overnight, it could have done serious damage.
“If it had been one of the kids who had plugged it in then who knows what could have happened.”
Robert Chantry-Price, lead officer for product safety at the Trading Standards Institute, said: “This is very serious and the product is clearly dangerous.
“If Marie calls her nearest Apple store, they should be able to determine whether the goods are genuine by detecting missing or incorrect markings. People run a risk when buying from third-party sellers as these products are easily forged.
“Our advice would be only trade with recognised sellers even when purchasing cheaper alternatives online.”
A spokesperson for eBay said: “eBay is fully committed to providing a safe, secure online shopping experience to millions of people globally.
“We listen closely to our community of consumers for reports of harmful products.
“In conjunction with our policy, we review reports on a case-by-case basis and we carefully consider all the details before deciding to remove products or take action against a merchant.”
Details on how to detect genuine Apple chargers can be found on apple.com/uk/power-adapters/