Fighting flash fraud on Ebay

The authors of this blog want to elimnate flash fraud on Ebay

Fake 120GB Sony drives sold on ebay by UK sellers!

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This is possibly the boldest fraud ever committed on ebay! At least two UK sellers listed 120GB flash drives displaying Sony brand names in early December. Sony does not sell 120GB flash drives. These drives are not only fake capacity, but also an infringment of Sony’s trademark names!

gally2841 described the drive being sold as:
High-speed USB 2.0 120Gb Micro Vault. USB Storage Media High Speed data transfer Read 12MB/sec (Max) Write 7Mb/Sec (max) PLEASE CHECK MY OTHER ITEMS AS I’VE ALSO GOT another RARE 120Gb Micro Vaults … yep that’s right 120Gb

Test results showed this drive as being less than 1GB, demonstrating just how bold/stupid some fraudsters can be! When the buyer complained this was the seller’s response:

I will refund once the item has been returned. However I must state that I didn’t list the item as Sony. It’s been over one week since the item was posted to you and you never confirmed receipt. I sent it special delivery at my cost. For this reason I will refund excluding the postage once the item has been returned. I’m sorry that your not statisfied but the item was not listed as Sony. But as a 120Gb flash drive.

The fact that the listing does not have the word Sony in it is immaterial as Micro Vault is a Sony trademark name. This is blatent fraud that skips round Ebay’s recent implementation of a new policy to try to prevent brand name fakes being listed.

Another 120GB drive was advertised by UK seller ravrehal0113 in December. Initially it seemed he might be an innocent victim of fake flash because he withdrew a listing on 15th December. It now seems he is not so innocent after all as his response to a question about it’s capacity was that he was selling it as a “novelty item” – in other words he probably knew it was a fake capacity drive. If you bought one you should test it with h2testw immediatlely and report the seller to ebay, paypal and the police. This seller obviously hoped to get away with a disclaimer, but this is not acceptable in the eyes of the law – here is the wording of the listing:

SONY VAIO 120GB USB 2.0 Memory Pen Drive
With a massive 120 GB storage – the USB device is clearly visible from the pictures and I’ve included shots pretty much from every angle. I’ve also included a screen shot from Windows showing the USB drive to have 117GB of free storage.
I’ve come into possession of 100 of these units. I’ve tested the device and put info on them and working fine – but I’m selling it as a novelty item. I can’t guarantee the unit or the storage capacity. However, the devices do look the business and work. They’ll make great gifts for Christmas.
NB: Some will come with blister packaging showing in the pictures other will not (I’ve got 76 units with blister packaging with 24 without)

In the UK the law is quite strict, if people sell fraudulent items they are liable to be prosecuted. In this case, as in the case above, there are two potential offences the seller could be charged with:

  • Selling counterfeit items (use brand name – in this case not even one that Sony uses to sell flash drives!)
  • Ordinary fraud (because of the fake capacity)

Both this seller and the one above could possibly face prison sentences if buyers report them to the police.

Written by fightflashfraud

December 27, 2008 at 6:54 PM

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