Counterfeit electronics are harmful to your devices as well as to your health; know why you should avoid them
A survey of Credit Protection Service (SPC Brazil) pointed out that 69% of Brazilians have already purchased non-original items.. Overall, 45.3 million people have already acquired something counterfeit. The 2015 study, which is the most recent on the topic, found that fake electronics rank third in the longest-selling ranking (17%), and only fall behind clothes (39%) and shoes (22%). .
It was identified that those who obtain these products the most are young people, belonging to class C and with low education. Still, there is another obstacle responsible for the consumption of parallel items, because the original and false are increasingly similar. According to the SPC, 48% of respondents have already been fooled by the authenticity of these products.
After all, is it worth buying fake electronics?
The price may be attractive, but the problems with fake electronics abound. People often focus more on the life-cycle consequences of electronics, however, consumers should be aware that counterfeit products also pose a risk to the user's own health.
Be it cable, battery, charger, power bank or headphones, buying fake electronics is not indicated. In the case of the smartphone charger, the product may affect battery performance, causing it to provide more charge than necessary, causing overheating and explosion. In addition, they may damage the phone connector. Unlike originals, fake cables and chargers are slower when charging is complete because there is no voltage regulation. Insulation (material) is still often fragile, and this can cause the accessory to melt and damage the outlet where it is plugged in. In the case of batteries, they are also prone to generate fires and explosions, which differs from the originals that guarantee certified quality and safety.
Several cases of explosion have been reported worldwide. In 2017, in Vietnam, a 17-year-old girl died electrocuted in her sleep after touching the hood of the fake smartphone charger. Three years earlier, an American suffered burns after the phone's fake charger exploded, destroying the plug and the accessory itself.
Parallel smartphone charger and home mains problems are a major cause of fire. Also be warned: Avoid using the device while it charges, either from the wall outlet or the USB port.
Unlike originals that undergo rigorous testing, fake headphones can cause severe damage to hearing health, as the hearing aid does not follow a standard of efficiency, nor is it identified with quality organs.
Durability is another factor to keep in mind for not buying second-rate electronics. They often have weak material and the risk of damage or breakage is very high. Soon you will have to spend even more since the repair is not that advantageous. Before you buy, remember: "cheap is expensive".
How to get away from fake electronics
Unsurprisingly, the tax on original products and gadgets is absurdly high in Brazil. The research of Credit Protection Service It also reveals that if they could, eight out of ten fake accessory consumers would buy original items.
Besides the tax, another factor that favors the high price is related to the evaluation process to obtain certification from Anatel (National Telecommunications Agency), for example. As an advantage, the manufacturer guarantees the consumer: warranty, extended service life and safety to avoid damaging the device.
As we reported at the beginning of the story, you can find very similar electronics out there – even the stamp of approval the counterfeiters are copying well. So, keep an eye out for the details and where you plan to buy. Search for trades that are reliable and provide invoice. If distrust persists, buy directly from the manufacturer through physical or virtual store.
It's always good to point out: Due to a number of reasons (copying, unsafe and others), Brazilian law prohibits the sale of counterfeit electronics. They are characterized as pirated. Although there is a prohibition and enforcement, it is common to see such equipment freely for sale in online stores and popular malls.
Piracy is also the enemy of the economy. According to a 2016 survey of the National Forum Against Piracy and Illegality (FNCP), this practice has caused a loss of R $ 130 billion for Brazil. In 2017, this number jumped: the country had a loss of R $ 146 billion with the marketing of fake products, according to the FNCP.
The differences between parallels, originals and genuine
You can find some nomenclatures on the market, such as fake, original and genuine electronics. Understanding the difference between each is important to really knowing what you are getting.
As already shown, fake electronics are more affordable, their materials are of poor quality, damage the electronics and cause serious implications such as fires and user health problems.
The genuine ones are identical to the original parts, following the same characteristics and technical specifications. They still generally pass a quality test and are warranted.
The original device is the most suitable. They are certified by agencies that certify the quality of the product, warranty is provided and usually their material is stronger and presents no risk equal to the parallels.