Hazardous fake Nokia 3310s seized in UK

Counterfeit mobile phones with potentially dangerous chargers have been seized in the UK by Trading Standards officers.

Hundreds of the fake Nokia 3310 phones were seized from an industrial unit in East Staffordshire and a property in Newcastle following a tip off.

The Nokia 3310 is a reissue and updated model from an iconic 2000s handset, and retails legitimately from around £50 to £70 ($65-$90), says Staffordshire County Council. Counterfeit versions of the phone are being sold at £15 and less. Earlier this year, the product’s manufacturer HMD Global warned that counterfeits of the iconic device were being encountered in multiple markets worldwide.

“While the phones are shoddy imitations and of poor quality, the chargers provided with them could also be hazardous, causing fires or putting people at risk of electrocution,” it said. “The phones seized in Staffordshire have been tested and failed to meet current safety standards.”

People are being urged to only buy from reputable retailers and be particularly vigilant if buying online. Plugs may not have pins of the correct size if they are counterfeit and legitimate ones should display the manufacturers’ brand name or logo and batch number. User instructions should also be included and all products should display the CE safety mark.

Signs that the Nokia 3310 may be counterfeit are that they are larger in size than legitimate models with plainer packaging. The buttons on fakes may be raised rather than embossed into the body of the phone and fakes often have a number of SIM card slots, according to Trading Standards.

Counterfeit phones usually have a lower quality screen display with blue lights behind the keys. The Snake game is a revamped version on legitimate phones.

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