Fighting flash fraud on Ebay

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

This flash drive is certain to be counterfeit and fake capacity

with 29 comments

hishatcha

An ebay member sent a message to hishatcha yesterday warning that this item is counterfeit and fake capacity. The seller has not replied or removed the listing. This makes us wonder if (rather than being an innocent victim of a fraudulent supplier) hishatcha is commiting deliberate fraud.

As usual we strongly advise ebayers to test all flash memory with the free program h2testw.

Report in to SOSFakeFlash if your testing confirms you have a false capacity device.

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Written by fightflashfraud

August 4, 2009 at 10:55 PM

29 Responses

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  1. Hi Andy you’ll find the post about your seller here:
    https://fightflashfraud.wordpress.com/?s=xinshifeng
    You can find any seller we have reported on by entering the ID in the search box. Paypal is notoriously awkward about parting with cash! We’ve often found that ebay will put them right – if they won’t accept the email from ebay as evidence speak to ebay customer services about it, after all ebay owns paypal!

    fightflashfraud

    June 29, 2010 at 10:15 AM

  2. I recently bought a 64GB flash drive from eBay, from China. Without thinking with hindsight (don’t know, why I didn’t check).

    Anyway, a seller called xinshifeng aka chenfuyuan sold me it, and eBay then sent me an e-mail saying the auction was counterfeit and not to pay, but it was too late. Also they suspended the seller.

    It didn’t even say it was a Sony brand, so when I recieved it and the pack wasn’t sealed, alarm bells wrang. So I bagan the quest to prove it was fake following links like you’ll see above. Low and behold, it was 2GB chip reprogrammed to be a 64GB, and now it only shows as 8MB and I can’t format it.

    PayPal now want me to return the goods to qualify for a refund, but I pointed out that their own policy (13.6) states that counterfeit items will not be returned and they must provide a full refund and the item may be desctroyed.

    eBay/PayPal hide behind their automatic systems and joe bloggs would probably just give up. IMHO they are accessories to the crime, taking their cut of the profit.

    I contacted PP and now they want 3rd part proof it is fake. I should be able to get this. I should also be able to use ebay’s e-mail, since the companies are related, surely this is evidence as well ?

    You live and learn I guess, see what happens next with the claim.

    Andy

    June 29, 2010 at 8:56 AM

  3. hello,

    Yes, don’t mind at all if the forum admin can put you in direct contact with me. Hopefully my refund will appear very soon and then you can go to eBay.

    Another victim

    August 26, 2009 at 8:06 PM

  4. Another victim, if it is ok with you can the forum admin put me in contact with you so that you don’t have to post your details?

    hello

    August 26, 2009 at 7:53 PM

  5. Well JimD, I can tell you that the request to return the item was a mistake, it is an automatic request for faulty goods. I too was asked to return the item but when I questioned this with Paypal they advised that I should NOT return the item because it is counterfeit. This is where I got into difficulty because I now have to proove it is counterfeit. If I had played into the sellers hands and returned it, I would have probably got the refund by now but I would know that in a short time some other poor sod will have fallen for buying my original counterfeit from this seller.

    Another victim, how can I contact you do you mind sharing your ebay ID or something, I want to go to Ebay with this as this isn’t how they are playing it with me. I will maybe wait for you to receive your refund first though so that I don’t rock the boat!

    hello

    August 26, 2009 at 7:52 PM

  6. Just an update. I have returned the drive as directed by Paypal, and am just awaiting a refund by the 7th September. What a pain in the ass! I wonder how much money the seller will end up making out of this scheme once all’s said and done, and if it was really worth the hassle?

    JimD

    August 26, 2009 at 12:08 PM

  7. Just an update from me. After informing the seller I wouldn’t be sending another payment, and that (as a result of the information here) I believed the item to be counterfeit so I wanted a refund, surprise, surprise, everything went quiet.

    So, I just raised a complaint through the eBay resolution centre stating that I hadn’t received the item, but believed it to be counterfeit anyway, and sent the link to this thread, and a few days later received message from eBay customer support telling me that a full refund will be made to my PayPal account. Just waiting for that to arrive, but on the face of it it’s problem solved.

    Another victim

    August 26, 2009 at 10:58 AM

  8. Yes, you are correct and I appreciate the help and advice you have given me to date – sorry for not replying earlier as I thought it progressing nicely until I asked for an update via the phone. They are prescribed at what they can or cannot accept. It MUST have this and that… and any evidence is at my own expense, so Sony Centre charging me £25 for the letter is at my own loss.

    This guy is Hisham Atcha is a known bad man of a previously dissolved company:

    https://secure.creditgate.com/search/search.aspx?AP=Current/Dissolved&CompanyID=1229668301&CompanyType=O

    He knows what he is doing.

    hello

    August 26, 2009 at 8:37 AM

  9. To hello,

    I take it that I was correct in assuming that they would not accept my evidence then. As this is (in journalistic terms) the “silly season” there is more chance than usual of getting the media to pay attention. I am so worn out that I don’t have the energy to do it myself.

    As you seem to have the seller’s home address maybe “auntie beeb” would like to send a reporting squad round to interview hishatcha!! Hah hah – I’d love to see a “watchdog” interview with this seller.

    fightflashfraud

    August 25, 2009 at 10:05 PM

  10. I bet you hishatcha is sitting at home in London laughing his head off right now. I have been in contact with Paypal after receiving no update on my case and they will not refund to me my money dispite ebay closing the sellers account, 2 negative feedbacks, Sony confirming via email they do not manufacture drives above 16gb nor VAIO flash disks. They wish me to provide a written letter from 3rd party to prove this item is fake. I have tried PCWorld (who don’t get involved for insurance purposes/company policy), my local Sony Centre (who will charge me £25 and it only cost me £24 – £1 loss) and my local PC shop (who will charge me £10). Paypal won’t refund the cost to get this evidence that they need for “legal reasons”. Kind Paypal have extended my deadline to provide this evidence to them by 3 days, despite being previously informed via email “I am confident that the information that you gave will greatly assist our specialist in reaching a well-informed decision regarding the case” on 20th Aug. “But that was the resolution department and the claims – so they cannot make a decision”.

    It’s time to setup a counterfeit business – because no one cares. Even his local trading standards tried to move me onto “Consumer Direct”. I may try BBC News and see if we can get this B*stard arrested.

    Hello

    August 25, 2009 at 8:57 PM

  11. Hi JimD,

    As more than one victim has reported in, Sony has stated this drive is counterfeit (and presumably nobody broke the law by sending a fake back to the seller) there may well be enough evidence (the actual flash drives, test results, the text of communications between ebay members and this seller and communications between a buyer and Sony) for a criminal prosecution for fraud against this seller if everyone has carefully preserved all the evidence.

    As it appears there may be sufficient evidence it may be worth approaching the police about prosecuting the seller if buyers wish to do so. Fightflashfraud is happy to assist the police in any fraud investigation they choose to undertake.

    fightflashfraud

    August 20, 2009 at 7:05 PM

  12. Well, have escilated a claim. Hishatcha has emailed me saying that he won’t be able to issue a refund until next week as “waiting for funds to clear” ! Not sure what he’s done with the money he’s stolen from everyone else, but I feel I have no choice but to get the money back from Paypal and let them chase him for compensation.
    On a side note, what’s UK law regarding this ? Shouldn’t getting most of our money back be insufficient punnishment for this guy?

    JimD

    August 20, 2009 at 6:46 PM

  13. A very curious thing: Buyer nangesta left this negative comment for hishatcha:

    FRAUDULENT COUNTERFEIT. SONY DO NOT MAKE SUCH A PRODUCT. DO NOT DEAL WITH.

    Now why exactly would someone sell a 32GB flash drive for under £20 on 23rd July, then buy one from hishatcha on the 7th August for £20 and advertise another one for sale at a start price of £22?

    I notice all nangesta’s listings are private. Three words spring to mind about the feedback nangesta left for hishatcha: pot, kettle, black…

    Distinct smell of fish here!

    fightflashfraud

    August 20, 2009 at 7:21 AM

  14. Possibly, the listings that have been removed are ones that have had refunds issued on them through use of the Safety Centre option by the buyers.

    I think the Sony Centre should hang its’ head in shame. Not exactly good PR, is it?

    I see hishatcha has received another well deserved negative feedback. It would be good to see some follow up feedback left as well from buyers who have already left positives. The more this fraudster is exposed, the better.

    I would advise any buyer claiming a refund from this fraudster to use the Safety Centre option to ensure their claims are dealt with officially. The seller has to respond when this method is used.

    Ignore ebay’s requests to contact the seller first without involving them. Why waste time? It’s your money, not theirs.

    Traveler

    August 20, 2009 at 1:03 AM

  15. To Hello,

    If Sony says it is counterfeit, then it surely is!

    Paypal now has no excuse for not immediately refunding all buyers. Paypal do not need any of these flash drives to be examined by “experts” – no headed notepaper is needed – a quick phone call by someone at paypal to Sony is enough to verifiy what we knew to be the case – these are counterfeit!!

    Ebay (if they are honest) should immediately contact buyers and tell them that they will be refunded by paypal.

    The seller was warned by ebay members that these flash drives were counterfeit and fake capacity.

    Honest sellers who were warned usually removed listings immediately or downloaded h2testw and then removed them from sale. This seller did not. Some sellers with suspect flash memory (who were not very good with computers) even sent flash memory items to members of the frankenflash project for testing!

    This seller did not do any of these things – just carried on merrily with listings! In our eyes that makes hishatcha a deliberate fraudster who should be permantly banned from ebay.

    There are many bizzare happenings on ebay!! We have a few theories about what goes on, but in the meantime we plod on with warning people about fake flash items, gathering the evidence and reporting ebay fraud on our blogs.

    fightflashfraud

    August 19, 2009 at 11:29 PM

  16. Paypal are probably oblidged but they don’t make it easy. You require evidence from a third party that the device is countefeit. I have contacted PCWorld, who don’t get involved due to “insurance purposes” and “company policy”; Sony Centre who will charge £25 and a local PC shop who will charge £10. Which is almost not worth it. The facility to upload evidence to PayPal is not working and they cannot accept attachments in emails!!

    However, I have contacted Sony after reading http://esupport.sony.com/perl/news-item.pl?news_id=243&mdl=PRS500 and they have replied

    “Sony does not make any Micro Vault device beyond 16gb in capacity. This is counterfeit. This is the only confirmation we will provide.

    Regards

    Sony Electronics Brand Integrity Unit”

    If that not evidence, I don’t know what is!! Right from the horses mouth.

    Oh and I am aware of some of his listings but not all, being removed. How bizarre?!

    hello

    August 19, 2009 at 7:12 PM

  17. Hi JimD,

    I’m not quite sure how it all works, but I think paypal are obliged to make sure you get a refund in the case of counterfeit drives.

    Hopefully someone will correct me if I am wrong.

    Traveler

    August 18, 2009 at 4:47 PM

  18. Just to add that I fell foul of this seller, but I think he’s taking things to another level. Despite my PayPal payment being listed on my payment history as being completed, he’s contacted me to say it’s blocked and can I resend it (obviously I haven’t!).
    So, on the back of being rumbled over the item, it seems he’s trying to get duplicate payments out of people before, presumably, disappearing to a new ID.

    Another victim

    August 18, 2009 at 4:07 PM

  19. I’ve just escilated my dispute to a claim after purchasing one of these amazing value 32gb Flash Drives from this seller. Lets hope that Paypal are able to recover my money.

    JimD

    August 18, 2009 at 1:32 PM

  20. I’m afraid it was nothing to do with ebay that the listings are no longer there. The auctions on these counterfeits simply ran their course and the last one ended at 00.25am.

    I would not give ebay or paypal the benefit of the doubt on this one.

    There is absolutely nothing stopping this seller relisting at the moment as none of the listings have actually been removed. I had them on watch, and they are still there. Ebay may eventually make them disappear (bury the evidence), but have taken no action at all so far. No great surprise.

    Traveler

    August 17, 2009 at 10:59 AM

  21. We think ebay and paypal spend most of the time snoring their heads off (or pretending to)while fraudsters run off with ebayers’ cash.

    They magically “wake up” for just long enough to remove the listings (and along with them any possibility of more evidence appearing on the site) when they realise that a seller has been caught red-handed.

    fake flash victim

    August 17, 2009 at 8:10 AM

  22. All of hishatcha’s listings have now been removed. I have not yet heard from EBay or Paypal despite using their systems for reporting the cheat! I will give them the benefit of the doubt this morning as I suspect they will have been sleeping Sunday night.

    Hello

    August 17, 2009 at 7:00 AM

  23. Hi Traveler,

    Many members of the frankenflash project bought flash drives with this packaging before we knew better.

    In this instance the packaging was actually the first clue! Any flash drive you see in packaging like this is fake fake fakity-fake.

    You are, however, correct in saying that there is a lot of clever packaging and clever replication of flash drive appearance.

    In general we’d advise that you never buy a flash memory item over 4GB on ebay – and test anything you do buy immediately with h2testw!

    fightflashfraud

    August 16, 2009 at 10:33 PM

  24. Message for Hello.

    You are far from stupid. Like the rest of us here, who have done exactly the same at some time (some of us on more than one occasion!), it is easy to blame ourselves for not realising in advance.

    The real culprits are ebay and paypal. From the moment these drives were listed, they were immediately reported as counterfeit and likely to be fake capacity. Ebay did nothing as usual.

    Ebay and paypal make a lot of money from the sale of counterfeits. If all the reported counterfeits were removed, ebay and paypal make less money.

    It is too easy to trust what we see and believe the seller is being honest, especially if the seller has perfect fedback. Seeing the drives in official looking packaging all helps in the deception the seller intends. There is a great deal of effort made in the packaging of these counterfeits. These drives are manafactured in serious numbers in factories in the orient. Every brand name is copied by these fraudsters.

    Unfortunately, the packaging is where the similarities end. Very cheap, low grade components are used in the rest of the build.

    If ebay really employed the staff they claim to for investigating this kind of activity, you would not be in this present situation.

    I do not believe ebay and paypal have anyone looking into this kind of activity or that the “Report an item” is real. It appears to all just be PR guff.

    The more victims using the Safety Centre option to get their money back, the better. Do not let ebay and paypal off the hook by contacting the seller first. Ebay and paypal prefer if it is all quietly settled without anyone bringing attention to what is really going on. Do not give them the easy option.

    Last, but just as important, use follow up feedback to highlight the fraud. Ebay and paypal would prefer you don’t as would the seller. But they were never out to look after your interests in the first place, were they?

    Traveler

    August 16, 2009 at 10:10 PM

  25. To Hello:
    We have removed any information from your comment that would identify you too easily as we value privacy. If you are able to warn other buyers of the same item from this seller please do so – we notice a lot of people obviously didn’t test their drives and left positive feedback. They are in for a nasty shock when their data becomes lost or corrupted but we can’t possibly warn everyone – our team is small – we need victims to help out!!

    fightflashfraud

    August 16, 2009 at 9:08 PM

  26. hishatcha has received the first negative feedback on his fake drives.

    No amount of contact from concerned ebay members has deterred this seller from ploughing on with his intentional sale of fake capacity, counterfeit Sony’s.

    Not even his victims asking for refunds has stopped him.

    If you have bought from this seller, get your claim in now through ebay and paypal for your money back immediately.

    Traveler

    August 16, 2009 at 7:36 PM

  27. Yup, fake. I was stupid enough to buy one. The contact number for this guy is apparantly wrong as the owner hangs up and denies he is Hisham Hatcha. He was very supicious on the phone though and hung up even though I was polite on the phone. Ebay are investigating and Paypal have asked him to refund through the resolution centre. I hope I see my money again.

    Hello

    August 16, 2009 at 7:20 PM

  28. Possibly as a result of at least one buyer already requesting a refund, this seller has decided to step up sales.

    He will be trying to offload as many of his counterfeits as possible on unsuspecting victims before disappearing with their money.

    Traveler

    August 15, 2009 at 1:53 AM

  29. The feedbacks are starting to come back in on the counterfeit drives sold by this seller.

    There is already one unhappy customer fully aware the drives are fake and making a claim against the seller.

    The buyer is more annoyed at the fact they have already left positive feedback before realising.

    Hopefully the other buyers will find out soon enough and this seller will be returning all the money made on the sale of these fakes.

    This seller has no excuse as they were fully advised on the drives being counterfeit and likely to be fake capacity as soon as they were listed. Every effort was made to make the seller aware. The seller seems to have chosen to totally ignore the good advice given.

    If you have bought a drive from this seller, please test and send in your results to the email address given at http://sosfakeflash.wordpress.com/report-a-fake/ Your input is welcomed and valued by the team here at fightflashfraud. The more evidence gathered on these sellers, the better. This is your chance to help fight against the injustice we all suffer as a result of this ongoing fraud.

    Traveler

    August 13, 2009 at 11:57 PM


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