Someone Actually Died from Using a Pirated USB Charger

Do NOT buy pirated smartphone chargers and cables

In 2014, a young woman in Sydney was found dead from apparent electrocution. Her death was traced to a pirated USB charger that was sold by a phone accessories kiosk. The owner got slapped with a fine and imprisonment, but we think that they should go one step further and ban counterfeit cables and chargers completely.

Sure, this may be a rare case, and it won’t likely happen to you. But it’s enough to paint pirated goods as serious safety hazards. Seriously.

So stay far far away from these chargers and cables, especially the ones you find at the pasar malam!

Here’s why else you shouldn’t buy pirated products.

Your phone will charge slower

All that waiting.

You have to understand that not all charging cables are the same. This sounds obvious, but listen up.

Compare the heads and they will look exactly like original ones. Trust us, they’re not. Yes, they might look nice and colourful on the strands, and some may even be made of tough materials. But it’s the inside that counts.

Pirated cables may not have the capacity to handle a normal charging speed. That’s because the wiring inside may only handle up to 500mA. Whereas original ones can to up to 2amps.

Your phone might get damaged

There are two ways pirated cables can damage your phone.

The first is that it can damage the charging socket, because the locking mechanism on the cable is not up to spec. Eventually, the wear and tear will be hard for any cable to stay locked inside the phone, even original ones. It’s also possible for cable heads with flimsy material can break off and stay inside your phone.

The second way is far worse: damaging the components inside your phone.

There were reports that unauthorized cables can cause damage to internal logic boards. A Google engineer discovered knock-off cables that destroyed his phones.

This GIF is for dramatic purposes only.

Your battery can get ruined

It may not be noticeable at first, but using a pirated charger will gradually bring it closer to the rubbish bin.

We’re talking about the adapter that you plug into the power socket. Yes, that. Definitely definitely do not buy a pirated version of that.

Original chargers are built to know when your battery is full, so that it will stop giving power. But pirated ones won’t do this. That’s how your battery can die from overcharging.

What you should buy instead

Yes we understand that original cables are expensive and pirated cables are cheap. But based on the risks, we don’t think it’s worth the money saved at all.

Do your phone a favour and get some proper cables.

For Android devices

Reliable brands you can buy online:


Anker Powerline Micro-USB

Anker Powerline USB Type C
Anker Powerline USB Type C

For Apple Devices

Look for Made for iPhone/iPod/iPad (MFI) Certification. That’s Apple’s official stamp that says these cables are properly manufactured. Apple even shows us how to visually identify knock-offs.

MFI-certified cables you can buy online:

Anker Powerline Lightning
Anker Powerline Lightning

Swiftrans Lightning & Micro USB Cable
Swiftrans Lightning & Micro USB Cable

Purchases made through the links on this article will earn KiniDia a small commission at no additional expense to you.