Trading standards officers from Merton Council helped recover hundreds of thousands of pounds invested into a dodgy travel adapter.

Council trading standards officers say a prototype for the 'world's smallest travel adapter' ignored potential safety concerns and continued to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds on separate crowdfunding campaigns, despite their warnings.

It is believed the initial campaign, which raised £500m, would have been enough to develop the product but a second campaign was then started on another site.

The council say there has been an increase in unsafe electrical products over the last decade, because of purchases made over the internet. Products bought abroad are not subject to UK safety tests.

Trading standards were alerted to the product by PlugSafe, a voluntary organisation safeguarding against unsafe and counterfeit goods. Over 10,000 investors were refunded money to a total of £452,626 as a result.

Investors were misled over the suitability of the adapter for the UK market, and that it could be as small as it claimed.

Cllr Ross Garrod, Merton Council’s Cabinet Member for Street Cleanliness and Parking, said: “Universal safety adaptors have specific safety requirements including their design and size because of the components.

"Trading standards contacted the developers saying it needed to adhere to relevant laws regarding the manufacture of this type of product and not to raise any more money through crowd-surfing until it could be discussed.

“We want to help businesses succeed but not at the expense of overzealous marketing which potentially misleads investors.”