British parents are being warned about fake imported Nintendo games consoles which could be a fire hazard and pose a danger to their children. Several UK consumers had ordered the consoles after being attracted by the much cheaper price. Many had been bought for £40 instead of the usual £100 retail price.
Hundreds of the imported consoles have been seized at UK freight depots. These goods had been purchased from a range of web sites mainly in Asia, outlets which claimed that the offending items were ''genuine Nintendo products''.
Nintendo has confirmed that Nintendo DS and DS Lite consoles it had examined were counterfeit, and the power adaptors supplied with the product were not Nintendo manufactured and were, in fact, potentially dangerous, since they had not been electronically tested and do not meet strict UK safety standards.
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) warned UK customers to be "vigilant" when purchasing electronic goods from websites.
"Buy from a reputable or regulated site, and if purchasing from outside the UK or a new website research the site, check all the facts before you buy," said Pamela Rogers, HMRC's head of intellectual property rights. Mike Rawlinson, managing director of the Entertainment & Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA), said that when a deal looks to good to be true "it often is".
Counterfeit goods are more numerous at this time of year, and consumers are more likely to buy them. HMRC says more needs to be done to mitigate the risks posed by fake goods - as a fake brand t-shirt is one thing and exploding console is another.