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HM Revenue & Customs warns of dangerous counterfeit consoles

Fake Nintendo hardware found with "potentially dangerous power adaptors"

HM Revenue & Customs has warned that counterfeit games consoles fail to meet UK health and safely standards and that buying such products could be putting consumer's lives in danger.

Hundreds of imported counterfeit Nintendo hardware products were seized at UK freight depots, having been sold from Asian websites as genuine, and were found to have been supplied with "potentially dangerous power adaptors".

"UK consumers must be vigilant when purchasing goods online," said HMRC's head of intellectual property rights Pamela Rogers. "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 the UK economy by undermining genuine UK retailers and small businesses who are honest and abide by the rules."

Mike Rawlinson, managing director for ELSPA, added: "We are asking all concerned parents to be diligent – often when a bargain seems too good to be true it actually is. We would also like to thank HMRC for their role in swiftly alerting all UK ports to be on their guard for similar counterfeit goods coming into the country."

"As a responsible industry we are also extremely committed to ending the damaging counterfeit games market, which not only defrauds UK tax payers with inferior products but in some cases actually puts children's lives at risk too."

"This is an issue that affects all retail businesses, particularly at Christmas, and more needs to be done to work together to mitigate the risks posed by fake goods. We are also continuing to work very closely with Trading Standards Officers on this important safety issue and we also want to thank them for their diligence."