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Last Updated: Friday December 05 2008 07:44 GMT

Warning over fake games consoles

Tips on how to spot a fake games console

Christmas shoppers are being warned to keep an eye out for fake Nintendo games consoles that could be dangerous.

Officials are worried that people from Britain are buying fake consoles from foreign websites that come with with dangerous power adapters.

They say the dodgy versions of the Nintendo DS and DS Lite look like the real thing, but could cause injuries.

Nintendo says children's safety is its priority, and wants parents to make sure they only buy the real thing.

The warning comes after customs officials, who check things being brought into Britain, found hundreds of fake consoles.

Fake Nintendo DS consoles
They cost around £40 and not £100 as real ones do
They are sold on websites you've never heard of
When delivered they come in a tiny box, with a power adapter LOOSE in the envelope and NOT in the box. No Nintendo documents are in the box either

People in the UK had bought them from websites which claimed they were "genuine Nintendo products".

Many of them had been bought for around £40 instead of the usual price of about £100.

But Nintendo checked them and confirmed they were fakes, and said they could be dangerous because they hadn't been tested properly.

Clare Merrills from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) told Newsround: "Children are plugging them in, and as they're using them the console is getting hotter and hotter and it's starting to melt the cables.

"The wires start to come out and when children go to take it out of the wall and they've been electrocuted. It's really, really dangerous.

"Our advice if you think yours is fake is DON'T plug it in. You don't want to risk hurting yourself."

If you do you think your console is a fake, you should try to take it back to the place where you got it from, or contact your local Trading Standards office.