Fake games consoles and adaptors are potentially putting Christmas consumers’ lives in danger, warns HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
Hundreds of imported counterfeit games consoles seized at UK freight depots were found to have been supplied with potentially dangerous power adaptors. The goods had been purchased from a range of websites, mainly based in Asia, which claimed the items were “genuine Nintendo products.” Many of the consoles, which are fake versions of the popular Nintendo DS and DS Lite had been bought for around £40, instead of the usual retail price of £100.
Nintendo confirmed that the Nintendo DS and DS Lite consoles were counterfeit, and the power adaptors being 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.
HMRC’s Head of Intellectual Property rights Pamela Rogers said:
“UK consumers must be vigilant when purchasing goods online. 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.
At best, these consoles would have led to disappointment on Christmas morning; at worst, they could have caused serious harm or injury.
Counterfeit goods also cause considerable damage to the UK economy by undermining genuine UK retailers and small businesses who are honest and abide by the rules.”
Mike Rawlinson, managing director for the trade body of the UK game’s industry ELSPA (the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association), comments: