Sony UK has issued an urgent warning to the public warning that counterfeit Sony Handycam camcorders have appeared for sale in the UK.

The company warns: "It has been brought to our attention that counterfeit Sony Handycam camcorders are currently being sold on, other websites and by a small number of street sellers."

Sony urges customers offered a bargain camcorder to check the products thoroughly to ensure they are the real deal.

The company is speaking with the Trading Standards Authority to have street trader sales of the fakes policed, and is making "every effort" to have the offending fakes removed from eBay when they appear there.

"So far we have asked eBay to delist 22 advertisements. We have also seen reports of a similar number sold through street traders in the Glasgow area," said Sony PR manager, Emma Cross.

She observed that the problem seems confined to the UK at present, but that Sony has been warned of the affair internationally.

The company is aware of model numbers of faked products, but urges the public to be cautious, as these numbers could be changed by the counterfeiters.

Cross explained: "The counterfeit units we know about carry the product code MX30 - 7000 on the back of the LCD screen and PC350 on a plate on the product's underside. However in the message Sony UK put out yesterday it did not wish to be too specific in case there are other counterfeit products being sold with different numbers that Sony is unaware of."

She stressed: "The last thing Sony wanted was for a member of the public to be lulled into a false sense of confidence that a product was genuine because it did not carry these numbers."