You search for a new phone battery online and find what seems to be a great deal. The price is much lower than what you would pay at the store, so you decide to buy it. After you receive the battery, however, you start having problems. It doesn’t hold charge, it overheats, and your phone dies quickly after you put the battery in. If this sounds familiar, you may have been the victim of a fake battery scam.
According to the FBI, these counterfeit products are “flooding the marketplace” and “posing a serious threat to public safety.”
The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) states that there has been an increase in online fake battery purchase cases. These counterfeit batteries can potentially overheat, causing fires and explosions.
What Are Fake Batteries?
Fake or copied batteries are known as “counterfeits.” They aren’t “genuine” batteries, but they’re marketed as such and designed to function in place of regular ones in various equipment, gadgets, and toys. Counterfeit batteries degrade due to defective components, substandard manufacturing, or faulty design. In some cases, counterfeit batteries have been known to explode or catch fire, posing a severe safety risk.
How Can You Tell If a Battery Is Fake?
There are a few things to look out for:
- The price is greatly discounted versus similar batteries. This is a good indicator that it’s likely counterfeit.
- The instructions or packaging are in poor English. This is a common sign of a fake product.
- The battery doesn’t have a well-known brand name on it. Unknown brands make most counterfeit batteries.
- The battery doesn’t have a certification from a reputable organization like CE or FCC.
- The battery doesn’t have the proper safety features. For example, it might not have a thermal shut-off switch.
- If you’re ever in doubt, it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid buying the battery.
Remember These Points before You Buy Your Next Battery
It’s no secret that batteries are expensive. So, it’s tempting to take the bait when you see what appears to be a great deal online, but beware! Many of these batteries are fake, and they can be dangerous.
The IC3 advises consumers to be aware of the following when purchasing replacement batteries online:
- You should purchase batteries from a reputable source.
- Check for missing or inaccurate information on the packaging.
- Your batteries should have a proper label with the correct voltage, amperage, and chemical composition.
- Batteries should be tested before use.
- Don’t use a damaged battery.
- If you can, inspect the battery before purchasing it.
- Be aware of sellers who are located outside of the United States. These sellers may not be subject to the same safety regulations as U.S. or Canadian sellers.
- Do some research on the seller before making a purchase.
BSC Solutions Group sources, sells and installs genuine, brand-name hardware and software for our corporate clients. Reach out to us today to learn more.