We often warn customers to take care when they spot Apple accessories such as headphone adapters for a fraction of the RRP. These bargains are almost always counterfeits, and while they may work at first, they can also be dangerous, as they may not meet Apple's specifications.

In a recent report Bloomberg investigates this phenomenon. The news agency takes a look behind the scenes of the security company Ghost Data Team, which specialises in tracking down counterfeits.

The impetus for all this was the personal experience of an employee who borrowed a power adapter from a friend to charge his iPhone - and it exploded. He started researching, and came across wholesalers and Chinese factories that sell counterfeit accessories as their business model. As the security experts report, many of these retailers are now switching to social networks because eBay, Amazon and other similar sites are too strictly controlled.

According to the experts, a particularly large number of fakes are sold on Facebook, which doesn't seem to be interested in stopping the practice. For this reason, companies such as Apple have to become more active themselves.

Apple says it employs its own team of experts to track down counterfeits. Last year alone, Apple managed to delete more than a million offers on well-known online marketplaces and on Facebook and Instagram in this way. On a support page the company explains how customers can identify counterfeits themselves.

To find accessories you can depend on, it's always better to look for recommendations from sites you trust. Macworld has roundups of iPhone chargers and Lightning cables, for example, which have been tested and work as advertised.

This article originally appeared on Macwelt. Translation by David Price.