Faulty mobile chargers and power banks sold online are potentially lethal fire hazards, a watchdog warns.
Shoddy, unbranded items listed on four sites – including Amazon Marketeplace and eBay – failed stringent safety tests.
Many items could put users in danger of electric shocks.
Eight out of 12 cheap, copycat Apple USB chargers from several sites could be hazards.
Seven failed tests to check if they were able to handle a set voltage and still work safely, the probe revealed.
Eleven out of 12 unbranded USB travel adaptors from four online retailers also flunked safety tests.
Almost half of power banks with no label had faults that could lead to them bursting into flames, it is claimed.
Which?, in urging shoppers to avoid cheap, unbranded electrical accessories, insisted: “They could put consumers at risk.”
Amazon and eBay said items in the report were “no longer available” or had been “removed”.
The research found almost three quarters of the 33 unbranded products failed electrical safety tests despite some carrying the CE mark, falsely suggesting they met the UK’s tough standards.
Which? is now urging shoppers to steer clear of cheap, unknown and unbranded electrical accessories amid fears they pose a fire risk.
According to Home Office figures, fires caused by faulty chargers have almost quadrupled from 24 in 2011 to 91 in 2018.
Natalie Hitchins, Which? head of home products and services, said: “Online marketplaces that list cheap and unsafe electrical products sold by unknown brands are putting people at risk.
“These products might be cheap but our testing shows they have the potential to cause serious damage or injury, including electric shocks and fires.
“Online marketplaces need to take greater responsibility for the products that are sold on their sites – while the product safety authorities must do much more to identify unsafe products and keep them out of people’s homes.”
All four online retailers have removed listings for the unsafe products following the Which? study.
An Amazon spokesperson said: “All sellers must follow our selling guidelines and those who don’t will be subject to action, including potential removal of their account. The products in question are no longer available.”
AliExpress said the safety of its customers was “of paramount importance” and it had axed the dodgy listings following the Which? investigation.
Wish said: “We are grateful to Which? for alerting us to these products and looking out for the needs of the consumer.
“We are working to remove these products from the platform and are following up with the merchants in question to ensure they are adhering to local laws and regulations.”
And eBay said: “The items have been removed, the sellers informed, and we advise any concerned customers to get in touch with their seller directly”.