Notts: County Council’s Trading Standards team urges parents to be toy-safe with their children this Christmas

Counterfeit and unsafe Frozen toys and merchandise seized by Nottinghamshire County Council's trading standards team
Counterfeit and unsafe Frozen toys and merchandise seized by Nottinghamshire County Council's trading standards team

It’s the season to be jolly - and advice from Nottinghamshire County Council’s Trading Standards team about Christmas gifts can help ensure you have a happy Christmas.

Every year, the county council’s Trading Standards team is on the lookout for:

· Unsafe toys and goods which pose a safety risk or do not comply with health and safety legislation

· Online scams which target unsuspecting internet shoppers

· Counterfeit products which mimic the real item.

Cybercrime appears to be on the increase with more and more transactions taking place online.

Our Trading Standards team works with the National Trading Standards E-Crime team to investigate and stop these crimes from happening.

But each year many people still fall victim.

Watch out for bogus websites or Facebook accounts, advertising very cheap goods as a way of obtaining your bank details.

Before you make an online purchase ensure that you are certain that you are dealing with a legitimate business.

If it sounds too good to be true, then it’s probably a scam.

You can find more information about online scams and how to avoid them by visiting the website of the National Trading Standards E-Crime team at http://www.tradingstandardsecrime.org.uk/

Last year, we alerted the public following an influx of Disney Frozen toys which were counterfeit and potentially unsafe.

Our team are still on the lookout for these sorts of goods which might be on the market this festive season, following last year’s alert over snap bracelets available from online auction sites.

We are also on alert for potentially unsafe self-balancing scooters – dubbed hoverboards.

In the rush to meet demand, untested and unsafe items have been imported in huge numbers.

Problems include the chargers and internal electrics, which do not meet European or UK standards and come with inadequate instructions.

Here is some key advice, which applies to any toys:

· Always buy from a reputable retailer, whether on-line or on the High Street

· When buying on-line always ensure the seller has a postal address and contact number so unsafe or faulty items can be reported and returned

· Always ensure on-line payments are secure

· If items cost over £100 consider paying by credit card, this gives extra protection

· When items arrive ensure they are ‘ce’ marked and come with adequate instructions

· Any chargers should have UK standard plugs and should also be ‘ce’ marked

· Never use chargers from other items, even if the fittings are the same, they may not be suitable and could cause a fire.

If you have been targeted by a scam, you can report it to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.