How to identify a fake iPhone charger in 2024

By Moses Johnson - Managing Editor
5 Min Read

If you’ve ever been duped into buying a fake iPhone charger, you know how frustrating it can be. Luckily, there are a few ways to tell if a charger is the real deal or not. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to identify a fake iPhone charger.


If you’ve ever seen a charger that looks strikingly similar to the official Apple chargers but is much cheaper, you may be thinking: is this thing legit or not? Well, before you plug it into your iPhone, there are a few things you can do to verify its authenticity. In this guide we will show you how to identify a counterfeit or fake iPhone charger. We will show you the things you should look for that will help you in identifying if your iPhone charger is fake or real.

How to spot a fake iPhone charger

Check the Box

Apple is meticulous about its packaging, so if you still have the box your charger came in, check here first. The box may look legitimate at first glance, but there are a few areas to check.

  • Look for MFI (Made for iPhone/iPad/iPad) logo on the box packaging. All authentic Apple accessory cables have ‘Designed by Apple in California’ printed on them.
  • Check the box for typos. Fake products are usually covered with English spelling and grammar errors.

Check the Price Tag

Depending on the strength of the power adapter, you’re likely going to need to pay anywhere from $29 to $79 for a genuine product. From time to time, you may find legitimate discounted products for less than that, but always be on high alert when you see large price discrepancies.

If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. However, this isn’t a guarantee, as some sellers may also raise the prices of their counterfeit chargers to make it seem like they’re the real deal. That’s why it’s crucial to use price as an alert trigger and then progress to a more detailed product analysis.

Inspect the Lightning to USB cable and connector

It is also possible to check whether the Lightniing-connected end is genuine.

  • On Apple’s genuine Lightning cables the Lightning connector is made up of a single piece. On a fake cable you might find that the Lightning connect is made up of more than one pieces.
  • Apple-certified Lightning to USB cables have a grey/metallic faceplate insert, White or Black faceplate inserts mean fake.
  • An original Apple charger has a consistent length of 7.7mm x 12mm. Varying width, length, or thickness is sign of counterfeit Lightning cable.
  • The contact points on genuine cables are rounded with smooth contacts and are always gold-plated. Rough or inconsistent finish is an indication of a fake apple charger.
  • An Apple Lightning to USB cable has “Designed by Apple in California” and either “Assembled in China,” “Assembled in Vietnam,” or “Indústria Brasileira” on the cable about seven inches from the USB connector. You’ll see a 12-digit serial number at the end of this text.

Inspect the USB connector end

  • The interlocks on USB shell of a genuine Apple charger are trapezoidal. Moreover, the interlocks are equally spaced from edge. On the other hand, the USB shell interlocks of fake Apple chargers have right angles. In addition, the interlocks are inconsistently spaced.
  • The USB contacts of genuine Apple chargers are gold-plated. If the USB contacts are silver-plated, for example, you may be dealing with a counterfeit.
  • The surface of the USB shell is smooth and consistent. In contrast, USB surface of a fake iPhone charging cable is rough or grainy.
  • The surface of the insulator for the USB connection is uniform and flat. Meanwhile, insulator for a fake iPhone charger has notches or indents.

Check the Text on the Charging Adapter

Apple genuine chargers have ‘Designed by Apple and Assembled in China’ printed on them. If the charging adapter doesn’t have that information, then it’s fake.

Inspect the charger for spelling mistakes. If you see any typos in spellings on the charging adaptor, then it’s fake.

Verify the Apple Logo on the Adapter

Genuine Apple power adapters will have the Apple logo engraved on the product. It’s not a sticker or a printing—it’s a tangible engraving. Fakes will mimic this branding, too, but sometimes they’ll get details wrong with the logo sizing and minutiae.

Common fake iPhone chargers on the market

When shopping for an iPhone charger, be sure to look for the correct type. Many fake iPhone chargers are sold with branding that is similar, but not identical to authentic chargers. Additionally, many counterfeit iPhone chargers do not have proper insulation or arcing protection and may overheat or even catch fire.

How to avoid buying a fake iPhone charger

When shopping for an iPhone charger, it is important to be aware of the signs that a charger may be fake. Here are a few tips to help you avoid purchasing a fake iPhone charger:

  • First and foremost, always purchase your iPhone charger from an authorized Apple retailer. If you are unsure of where to find an authorized Apple retailer, search for a store locator online.
  • Always check the authenticity of the charger by checking the Apple logo. If the logo is not genuine, the charger is likely fake.
  • Always check the voltage rating of the charger. A fake iPhone charger may have a lower voltage rating than an authentic charger, which could damage your iPhone.
  • Always check the plug type of the charger. A fake iPhone charger may have a different plug type than an authentic charger, which could prevent your iPhone from charging.
  • Always check the quality of the materials used. A fake iPhone charger may be made of cheap plastic or metal, which may not hold up to regular use.
  • Always look for markings that do not match those on a genuine iPhone charger. A fake iPhone charger may have markings that are incorrect or copied from the genuine iPhone charger.
  • Test the charger before you buy it. Plug in your iPhone and see if it works. If it doesn’t, it’s likely a fake iPhone charger.

What to do if you’ve already bought a fake iPhone charger

If you’ve determined your charger isn’t a legitimate Apple product, what do you do now? This mostly depends on where you bought the counterfeit charger from.

Was your purchase from an Amazon seller? In many cases, you can return your product for a full refund as long as it is undamaged, and you’re not outside the return window. Other retailers like eBay offer some buyer protection, but it varies on many factors.

If you can’t get a refund, you’re probably out of luck. That said, if you’re reading this before buying a suspicious charger, hopefully you know enough to make sure you’re getting what you pay for.


If you’re uncertain whether an iPhone charger is genuine, there are a few things to look for. Firstly, the adapter should have a Apple Logo or symbol on it – if it doesn’t, it’s likely fake. Secondly, the connector pins should be gold-plated rather than copper – if they’re not, the charger may be counterfeit. Finally, make sure that the size and shape of the outlet matches that of an authentic iPhone charger – if not, it’s most likely a knockoff.

If you’re unsure about whether or not your iPhone charger is fake, leave a comment below and we’ll help you out. Remember, it’s important to be careful when purchasing chargers online – only buy from trusted sources to avoid being scammed.

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By Moses Johnson Managing Editor
Moses Johnson is the Editorial Director of, who has a keen eye for news, rumors, and all the unusual stuff around Apple products. Moses is commonly referred to online as The Professor, with decades of experience in tech under his belt.
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