DANGEROUS fake mobile phone chargers that can cause fires or electric shocks are being sold in Sandwell.

A man received a mild electric shock and his ipod was destroyed after he switched on his new ‘Apple’ charger which started to smoke and exploded.

In a similar incident a young boy from London died after being electrocuted by an unsafe charger while on holiday in Thailand and a leading councillor is warning people not to risk their lives.

Cabinet member for neighbourhood services Councillor Ian Jones said ‘‘People may be tempted to buy cheap chargers, particularly on the run into Christmas, but I would urge people not to risk their lives for the sake of a few pounds.”

Borough trading standards manager Bob Charnley is urging people who have bought an Apple Emerson network power charger model A1299 for a fraction of the price of the genuine article to stop using it immediately.

The product is marked as being ‘designed by Apple in California’ and a small quantity of the of counterfeit chargers, which failed to comply with the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations, have been were seized from a West Bromwich business.

Trading standards officers have requested the invoices in a bid to trace the supplier.

Mr Charnley added: "Any retailers who have them in stock should ensure they are removed from sale and consumer returns refunded.

"There are many chargers on the market which also fail to comply with the safety regulations. Trading standards are trying to identify those which are available in Sandwell and are working with responsible traders to remove them from sale.

"I would advise people to only buy electrical chargers from reputable retailers and always obtain a receipt so if there is a problem, the product can be traced back to the supply chain."

If consumers believe they have bought one of the counterfeit chargers, they should call Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 0405 06.