Hatchimals: Parents warned of Christmas scam over new toy craze

Hatchimals have become the 'must have'  toy for children across the country

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The Independent Online

Cyber criminals are targeting British parents desperate to get their hands on Hatchimal toys ahead of  Christmas, experts have warned.

Hatchimals have become the 'must have'  toy for children across the country, with frantic parents going to great lengths to get their hands on one in time for Christmas.

Hatchimals, are like a sophisticated hybrid of a Ferbie and Tamagotchi.The toy gives children the chance to hatch out their very own creature from an egg.

Many retailers are already out-of-stock because of high demand, with parents on the lookout for the best deals.

John Shier, senior security adviser at Sophos, warned against “too good to be true” deals that have started appearing online and on social media sites such Facebook.

He told the Evening Standard: “Market forces have made Hatchimals a very wanted, but unavailable, item and parents are doing what they can to get one.”

Shier warned parent against “the bait and switch” scams – which advertises the toy at a lower prices but in locations where they have already sold out.

The technique encourages customers to send their payment, only to realise the product they just bought is not available.

Mr Shier said: “A bunch of things can happen, including the ‘bait and switch’, that says in order to get the product you have to fill out a survey or all sorts of other tricks.

“But they’re just generating money for themselves and you get nothing.”

"I can only imagine that, as it comes to Christmas season, and [Hatchimals] are still sold out, it could get ugly."

UK parents are sharing information about stock availability on website Playpennies. Click here for the update thread.

Hatchimals are £59.99 at Toys ‘R’ Us, Argos, The Entertainer and Smyths.

However, demand is so high that parents everywhere are  turning toward online sites to buy the toy and pushing up prices.

On eBay, Hatchimals are currently being listed for between £90 to £150.

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