Fighting flash fraud on Ebay

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

Fake capacity 32GB SD Card?

kchtcarlm_sd A feedback comment suggests that this 32GB SD memory card from seller kchtcarlm may be fake capacity. The low price at which the item was sold for tends to suggest it is very likely to be fake. If so it is likely that all flash memory items from this seller will prove to be fake capacity. Fake capacity flash memory causes file loss and corruption – do not save your photos or video files on this until you have tested to ensure it is the capacity stated.

If you bought one of these you should test it immediately it arrives with the free program h2testw

Report your fake if testing confirms you have purchased fake capacity flash memory on ebay.

UPDATE 22/07/2010
We’ve noticed that there have been a lot of visitors to this very old post recently. This seller was proven to be selling fake memory cards (surprise, surprise!) about a month after this article was published (evidence of the seller’s fraud is now held in a database) and seller kchtcarlm has not been active on ebay for about a year now – suspended by ebay for fraud.

If you suspect that a memory card (or any other flash memory item) listed on ebay is fake then please let us know by leaving a comment here!

Written by fightflashfraud

June 18, 2009 at 8:57 PM

27 Responses

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  1. Sadly Christopher, Although folk reported known fraudulent listings to Ebay numerous times in the past Ebay did little about them. Ebay does not seem to be interested in preventing this type of fraud. Indeed, on the contrary, they were more proactive in counteracting anything any of us tried to do to warn buyers about the issue. Several of us had our accounts closed by them for having the audacity to try and alert ebayer through sending messages or putting up advisory listings.

    Ebay make money out of the fraudsters, and making money seems to be their only real concern. Sadly most buyers don’t realise they’ve been diddled until it is too late to get a refund. Some never realise at all and assume the flash drive, memory card or whatever has developed a fault when things go wrong.


    April 29, 2012 at 6:21 PM

  2. I have been caught out buying a 32GB sd microcard – started to use it in earnest today only to find that it only stores 1.9GB – now confirmed by running h2testw. I have requested a refund via Ebay but I am not holding my breath. In view of the amount of fraud in this area would it not be possible to persuade Ebay to warn each and every prospective buyer of memory cards, during the purchase process, of the high risk of a fake product? They could promote and suggest the use of h2testw to the purchaser. Then they could set up a holding account for purchase monies, with the money only released to the seller when Ebay receives a satisfactory seller’s report within, say, a month of purchase. Ebay must be aware of this problem and they must take more proactive measures to counteract it – it is just too difficult for individuals to police distance selling.


    April 28, 2012 at 9:34 PM

  3. Got a fake 32 GB card also. Went to Ebay resolution and got my refund.
    It’s a micro SD card. The adapter didn’t even fit – I had to sand it so it fits in.
    First GB is okay. I renamed the file and keep testing. At about 4 GB, the writing speed is down from 2 mb/sec to 1.5 mb/ses. And it’s still okay, but when I took the card out, then put it back, the files are corrupt. So the card won’t hold file.

    Basically, any ebayer who are selling SD card much cheaper than a volume seller (feedback > 10,000) is selling fake for sure. I alerted some of the biddings and ebay removed them later.



    October 20, 2011 at 8:45 PM

  4. Hi,

    This user — robert80a — is selling similar 32gb cards on ebay. Card I’ve got was only 2gb and had extended capacity.
    Apparently I’m trying to get my money back through paypal, but these guys aren’t too supportive.


    June 7, 2011 at 5:29 PM

  5. Although I’m not completely sure, I think some people misunderstand the fake cards. The cheap sd cards are based on chips that don’t completely work, but do work to some extent. They failed Sandisk’s quality test in the factory for instance, but somebody took them anyway.
    So yes, you are able to write and read from them, but beacuse the chip is not top quality, you don’t get the full 32Gb, or wahtever you’ve bought. Some parts of the chip are broken.
    So what’s the problem then? Well, your chip may fail faster and loss of data is more likely to happen in the future.
    or thats how I interpretate it…


    March 28, 2011 at 11:26 AM

  6. Hello all,

    I just recieved my 8gb samsung MicroSD card from ebest.2010, and guess what… If the output of the h2testw test is

    “The media is likely to be defective.
    0 KByte OK (0 sectors)
    309.3 MByte DATA LOST (633498 sectors)
    Details:309.3 MByte overwritten (633498 sectors)
    0 KByte slightly changed (< 8 bit/sector, 0 sectors)
    0 KByte corrupted (0 sectors)
    309.3 MByte aliased memory (633498 sectors)
    First error at offset: 0x0000000000000000
    Expected: 0x0000000000000000
    Found: 0x0000000100000000
    H2testw version 1.3:"

    then I guess I fell for another fake card. I can write only 7571Mbs in total.

    Did any one hear about this seller?

    Should I contact the seller via ebay, report to ebay or to paypal first?



    January 11, 2011 at 9:47 AM

  7. Jacques: the explanation that I found is that some of these fakes are programmed to write whatever it can’t on it’s non existent memory to your hard drive, so when you write something huge like 20 gb worth of files then go to read them its actually reading from your hard drive as well as the sd card. I’m afraid the test program is correct. I got duped too 😦


    December 18, 2010 at 5:23 AM

  8. Hi David,
    Almost all the cards coming out of China turn out to be fakes – normally you would not need to format a card so that rings alarm bells. Try testing the first 8GB of the cards with h2testw and see what results you get.


    December 14, 2010 at 8:33 AM

  9. Hi i bought some kingston 32gb microsd cards from china and when i got them it said it had 30.4 gb of memory and 1 of them said it didnt have any memory at all and like 7 out of 20 sd cards said it need to be formatted before you can use it but they all said it had 30.4gb out of 32gb did i buy fake ones?


    December 14, 2010 at 5:24 AM

  10. Hi Jacques,
    If the card failed h2testw but you can access 20GB of files then this suggests the card could have a fault, rather than being fake. The program does not just identify fakes, it also identifies memory that has faulty addresses – so this may be the case with your card. Without seeing the actual report, which shows at what point the error occured, we couldn’t really say for sure.


    December 13, 2010 at 8:37 AM

  11. fightflashfraud:
    I understand that for you, h2testw is the absolute and ultimate reference, but then how do you explain that I was able to fill the card with data, and the read it back to my PC without errors ?!?
    My next test: insert the card into my HTC phone and see how it behaves …


    December 12, 2010 at 10:08 PM

  12. Hi Jaques,
    If the card failed the test with h2testw we’d say the issue is that it is a fake. You should open a claim against the seller if he or she does not refund you immediately.

    Get in touch with Sandisk – they may be willing to back you up if you provide them with enough evidence – photograph the item carefully – fakes usually differ visually from the real thing in slight ways. Sandisk, Kingston and other well known companies have had almost everything they produce replicated by fraudsters!

    let us know how you get on.


    December 12, 2010 at 9:38 PM

  13. I’m kind of confused here. Just received from an eBay seller a (Sandisk?) 32 GB Mobile microSD card that miserably failed the h2testw. It was able to write but started to fail at the verify phase. The I reformatted the card using a special SD formatter instead of Windows 7’s formatter (
    The I wrote a few large files to the card (totalling ~20GB) and was able to read everything back to the PC. Is h2testw wrong or could it be an issue with proper formatting ???


    December 12, 2010 at 7:35 PM

  14. Hi jehzlau
    Pursue a refund for both your fakes with all your might! It can be a difficult fight sometimes but money talks and is the only thing that ebay seems to hear!


    September 22, 2010 at 7:02 PM

  15. eshop_168 and immer-arbeit are also fake SD card sellers… 🙂 I recently bought from them and I consider myself a victim of this flash drive scam. 😦


    September 22, 2010 at 6:44 PM

  16. Hi heebs,
    Bit difficult to tell if the SD card in the listing you mention is genuine or not as we don’t have any of these to compare with the listing from newbed. Is anyone else familiar with the Elite SD card in the listing heebs asked about?

    We’ve now had a look at this seller’s feedback and it looks as though resold a 2GB micro SD card purchased from take.tohome, who we think is a dodgy looking seller. Seems newbed may be in the habit of re-selling things bought on ebay so there is a pretty good chance the 32GB Elite SD memory card will prove to be fake.


    September 5, 2010 at 9:59 AM

  17. hello…i have noticed alot of very cheap sdhc 32gb cards…one of them has a serial number of =BOM 94110-925.A00LF which an email from a kingston website says is fake serial number..the item is 140449154489 on ebay…can someone tell me if this is fake as I am about to bid on it..thanks


    September 5, 2010 at 9:32 AM

  18. ah… I’m one of those too little too late guys I guess. Picked up some 32 GB SD Cards off ebay. They came quick enough (although 1 got lost and I got a refund) I used the first maybe 8 GB without issue until months later when I stored more …my directories would end up with jibberish in them and I would have to kill the copy task as it seemed to get stuck.

    It wasn’t until I found the app here and physically tested it did I discover that I got duped!
    I was runnin on cloud 9 thinkin how much money I saved and it looked pretty legit too! Ugg…never again!
    Thanks for the great utility and for everyone who reports it! (too late for me I’m afraid on ebay)


    July 14, 2010 at 1:42 AM

  19. Hi John,
    There are cases where buyers didn’t run into problems for as long as two years and then found that their supposedly 8GB flash item only really had 2GB of memory. What we at fightflashfraud can’t understand is why so many people buy flash memory items advertised at vastly over the capacity they actually need. What for? I buy what I need for the purpose.

    I use quite a lot of 512mb (half a gigabyte) flash drives – adequate for the average person just saving documents and a few pictures – though I don’t think there are many now with such a small capacity. I have a lower number of 2gb and 4GB drives to accomodate larger files and just two each at 8GB and 16GB which I use for things like video. Similarly with memory cards – have a load at 1GB and under for photography, which I swap over when filled – actually easier than saving loads to a larger card and a few larger capacity ones (4-16GB) for video.

    Who the heck really needs a flash memory item over 16GB?? They’d be better off with a two and a half inch removable hard drive (I have two) for anything over 16GB!! More reliable, and far cheaper per GB.


    June 2, 2010 at 8:49 PM

  20. Most of the people buying these won’t even figure out they’re fakes for weeks or months. If they relabel 16gb cards as 32gb you have to save more than 16gb on them before they corrupt. This explains the high eBay ratings for the sellers, people leave them great marks simply because of fast shipping and it seems to work in their device.


    June 2, 2010 at 8:19 PM

  21. Hi Ray,
    You are not the only person who has reported buying fake flash memory from the site you told us about – in fact we wrote a post that mentioned this site for someone else’s blog last year.

    Fake flash memory items are sold on just about every site where members of the public can sell goods and have even occasionally been sold by well known High Street retailers. There are a lot of fraudulent suppliers in China churning out fakes and unfortunately sellers seldom check their goods!

    Try to get a refund from the seller – if you paid through paypal you should be able to claim through them. If you paid by credit card the credit card company may be able to do a chargeback. Good luck – perhaps you could warn other buyers on the site you bought from about this – people need to be informed!


    April 5, 2010 at 12:02 PM

  22. FYI the card i bought is very similar in looks to the sample shown at the top of this page (rainbow across the top) no brand name, just SDHC, 32GB, lock, blue casing.


    April 5, 2010 at 11:44 AM

  23. I used the software – it works.

    Instead of testing the full 32000MB i just tested 4000MB as i found it was failing consistently at around 2gB (not 4gB as first estimated). It showed 1.9GB as ok, the rest as lost, corrupted, aliased.

    For others info: i found that my videos on my jvc camcorder were failing once i reached 4h06m remaining of xD footage. By deleting footage and re-filming smaller samples i was able to check that it was consistently failing at the same 4h05 – 4h06m remaining.


    April 5, 2010 at 11:41 AM

  24. Hi Ray,

    The best way to check what’s wrong with your card is testing with h2testw – this will give you a detailed report if there are faults.


    April 5, 2010 at 6:38 AM

  25. moderator: delete my comments please or at least the link


    April 5, 2010 at 12:33 AM

  26. Hi Lynn,

    Don’t think any of our regular contributers has tried reprogramming an SD card. We’ll be interested to hear from anyone who has but quite frankly (from our experience with USB flash drives) we’d be inclined to think that even if it can be done it probably isn’t worth the time and effort involved.

    Fake capacity items use very low grade chips that are very prone to failure even if you can reprogram them. They will never be reliable – I have a couple of fake Sandisk cards myself but decided it wasn’t worth trying – I would just be too irritated to suddenly find the card failing when I want to capture an image of a moment that will never re-occur!


    January 8, 2010 at 3:19 PM

  27. can these be repaired like flash drives to report their correct capacity? Thanks


    January 8, 2010 at 7:16 AM

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