Fake toys are among thousands of counterfeit articles that have been confiscated by UK customs officers recently. Cash strapped parents might be tempted to buy toys from unofficial traders but by doing so, they could be putting their child’s life in danger.
Counterfeiting is big business, valued at £1.3 billion per year in the UK. According to the Anti-Counterfeiting group, around 12% of the toys on offer in the UK are fake.
Paul Kitson from personal injury lawyers Russell Jones, said fake toys can be particularly hazardous. Children can choke on small parts, and in some instances banned chemicals are used which could leave a child with long-term injuries.
He went on to say that he recently worked on a personal injury compensation claim where three family members required urgent medical treatment after inhaling toxic fumes when a 99p toy exploded.
Which?, the consumer rights group, conducted a survey and discovered that almost 10% of UK consumers have accidentally bought fake goods in the last two years. However, when they realised their mistake and tried to return the goods, 40% were unable to get a credit voucher, exchange or refund.
Which? has discovered people selling fake Nintendo DSi games consoles and power supply packs for Nintendo Wii that were not earthed.
When you’re shopping for Christmas gifts, remember that if the price looks to be too cheap, the chances are that the goods will be shoddy and could be dangerous.