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A hot potato: With the current state of the economy, people are trying to find ways to save money. One cost-cutting measure is to purchase cheaper batteries. The FBI released a PSA regarding the risk of cheaper batteries, warning of potential counterfeit or even dangerous products being sold.
The FBI has a very simple but extremely important job within the United States, and occasionally even outside of the country. The agency is tasked with ensuring citizens are safe from potential threats or fraud, while also providing intelligence to the government when needed.
A possible harm to consumers became apparent to the FBI and the bureau was quick to release a PSA covering the hazard. As more products begin to require the use of batteries, people may look towards finding cheaper batteries in hopes of saving some money.
However, the FBI warns that people should not be looking for heavy discounts on batteries. The bureau claims alternative manufacturers are making fake batteries that can cause overheating, poor performance, device damage, or even complete product failure. The FBI covered the "dos and don'ts" when it comes to purchasing batteries, hoping to keep citizens safe from any harm.
The FBI notes to "always purchase batteries from legitimate and trusted sources," as those batteries have been tested thoroughly and are safe to use in any product. Many manufacturers will list reputable vendors for their devices. There is also a link within the PSA which details testing laboratories dedicated to these batteries.
Buying batteries from untrusted or third-party vendors can be risky, as these products are designed to look like legitimate batteries but aren't. It further details how to "avoid aftermarket batteries when possible because they may be dangerous," but emphasizes research and reading reviews if you believe the product could still be a legitimate item.
The final warning is to fully avoid batteries that:
- are not properly packaged
- have misprinted or misspelled labels
- have labels that peel off
- do not have official manufacturer batch numbers
Consumers should compare prices between products before purchasing, claiming that heavily discounted batteries are likely counterfeit. It also urges buyers to familiarize themselves with specific, reputable companies. The PSA doesn't name any generic brands specifically, but some of the more commonly trusted brands include Duracell, Energizer, and Rayovac.
If you believe you've received or purchased counterfeit batteries, the FBI suggests reporting the activity to the payment service used for the transaction.