In a bid to reduce the risk of rogue presents causing damage to children, the Local Government Association is asking last-minute shoppers to 'suspect' online sellers offering next-day delivery on toys that are out of stock elsewhere, as they may not actually exist.
'Christmas can be a great time for bargains, but it can also be a magnet for dodgy traders and criminals who won't think twice about making easy money from selling dangerous toys to unsuspecting shoppers,' said Simon Blackburn, chairman of the LGA's Safer and Stronger Communities Board to the Press Association.
'Faulty electrical toys can lead to fires or electrocution; inferior materials can break and cause injuries, while toxic levels of ingredients can cause burns, illness and even prove fatal.'
'As well as looking out for grammar and spelling errors on packaging – tell-tale signs of counterfeit goods – people need to resist cheap offers that look too good to be true, particularly if certain toys are sold out in well-known retailers, as this could be a sign that they are fake, unsafe and poor quality or simply don't exist.
'Selling illegal, fake toys is a crime and ruins the reputation of genuine traders, harms legitimate businesses, costs the economy millions in lost tax revenue and often funds organised criminal gangs.'
In Ireland, an official toy has also caused a ruckus.
The 'Lil Frog & Lil Frog Lily Pad' was recalled due to a design defect with the batteries which could cause a safety issue if the battery cap is removed.
According to a survey conducted by giftcloud.com, 46% of women and 48% of men still have gifts to buy this weekend.
The digital gift-giving site said that London, the North East and Scotland top the charts as the worst panic-buying areas of the country.