Fighting flash fraud on Ebay

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

32GB Kingston drives sold on ebay a bit too cheap to be genuine?

with 43 comments


These 32GB Kingston DataTraveler drives sold on ebay by liam_ashey2009 seem unlikely to be genuine. We think they may be counterfeit and fake capacity. If we are wrong and they are genuine then liam_ashey2009 made quite a loss on his auctions. Buyers can check serial numbers with Kingston to find out if they are genuine. We suspect that Kingston will be unable to verify them.

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.

Written by fightflashfraud

September 5, 2009 at 11:15 AM

43 Responses

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  1. I would suggest to any prospective buyers of usb flash drives, memory cards amd mp players to avoid ebay completely. There are honest sellers out there but it seems to be a bit of a lottery. Even the honest sellers get caught out by fraudulent suppliers.

    I would stick to reputable online sellers or local suppliers if available. It may seem a bit more expensive but you end up with what you paid for.

    With ebay and paypal, there is no real guarantee the buyer will get a refund. The so called buyer protection ebay and paypal boast about is a bit like the fake capacity drives.

    Under testing, it does not measure up to ebay and paypal claims.


    September 15, 2009 at 2:28 PM

  2. Hi again.

    Yes I have started my claim through ebay and I agree that in cases like this refunds should be instant. Hopefully that will change in the future.

    In regards to the capacity of the drive. I tested the full 32gb over 3 and a half hours. Out of the 32gb, 845mb was the actual capacity. Basically useless!

    I don’t think I will be buying flash drives from ebay again.

    Let’s hope relevant action is taken on this guy.



    September 15, 2009 at 1:26 PM

  3. Hello stubaker,

    Good to hear from you.

    I take it you have already started your claim through ebat Safety Centre?

    It can be a slow process sometimes getting back what is rightfully yours.
    If ebay had acted on initial information, you would not be in this predicament. Paypal should foot the bill and make immediate payments back to customers in cases like this. They allow the advertising and sales of counterfeits and make plenty of money out of it.

    Let us know how you get on with h2testw. I’m guessing about 1.9gb. The test has an option where you can choose the amount to test. At that option, just before you start the test, choose 10,000mb. That is more than enough. Ive yet to see any fake being as high a capacity as that.
    The option is useful for larger capacity drives. Waiting 4.5 hours for a 64gb drive to fully test is not much fun.


    September 11, 2009 at 11:51 AM

  4. Hi there.

    Unfortunately I have been scammed by liam_ashley2009.

    I received my flash drive yesterday morning, I have yet to check the real capacity. Got a message from ebay this morning telling me that he got kicked off ebay and I should make a claim against him.

    Shame it takes upto 30 days to get my money back. Glad to be covered by paypal though.


    September 11, 2009 at 11:01 AM

  5. Hello Earl,

    Use the search box on the right of the page to check to see if the seller has already been featured at the site.

    If not, then proceed to “Report suspect ebay sellers” tab.

    Micro is right about staying ON TOPIC. It can be a bit of a MARATHON. Enough to drive you NUTS!


    September 11, 2009 at 9:12 AM

  6. “Report suspect ebay sellers”

    Hello Earl,

    This is the place to report suspect ebay sellers who are not already mentioned elsewhere here at the site or at sosfakeflash. Link below.

    I hope this helps.


    September 11, 2009 at 9:02 AM

  7. Hello folks,
    Could we please try to keep ON TOPIC, these posts as shown by the header, are for information about seller liam_ashey2009, we seem to be wandering off a bit, new posts on similar but different sellers should really have a new heading… (I think) :-))
    But WELL DONE to everyone on this speedy conclusion to one fake sellers reign.


    September 11, 2009 at 7:30 AM

  8. 24hour.openstop67, dalita321 (new seller US), kodaksrange1274 (austrailia), This guy is selling it people are calling it junk, and he refuses to refund.

    I ran out of contacts for the day, no more on my limit. If you can contact some of the people from Kodaksrange1274, that would help

    Earl Smith

    September 11, 2009 at 4:08 AM

  9. By the way this is the US ebay. There is another seller yangyulinshop This guy sold dolls for nothing free shipping to get a feedback rating, now he is starting to dump these fake flash drives.

    Earl Smith

    September 11, 2009 at 3:57 AM

  10. Greetings from OBIETEN, just located a new seller on ebay fionasfox2009 not sure how to report this to fake flash, so if you can get it to someone who needs to know. It is a china seller and I have already sent an email to his first feeback victim. Have a great day.

    Earl Smith

    September 11, 2009 at 3:53 AM

  11. I have been informed that feedback leavers from number 11 back to number 6 have been notified by a helpful ebay member that their 32gb Kingston drives are counterfeit and fake capacity and that the seller has been kicked off ebay for selling these fakes.

    If there are any more helpful ebay members willing to help, you are most welcome to join in and let any others know.

    Every little helps.

    Remember, it is illegal to post counterfeits so the seller or paypal would be asking any of the buyers to break the law if they ask that the fakes be returned for refund.

    We would love to hear from the buyers too. Feel free to leave a comment. Your input is valued and most welcome.


    September 11, 2009 at 3:38 AM

  12. How about that folks.

    liam_ashey2009, “No longer a registered user”.

    I like it when a plan comes together.

    The other buyers will get to know soon enough too and get their refunds. This is not finished until all are informed and refunded.

    I will hand you over now to our aftercare team, namely fightflashfraud and Micro.

    Good work everyone, and thanks for the help.


    September 10, 2009 at 9:26 PM

  13. Surely everyone needs at least one brain cell?? Otherwise they’d be a vegetable!


    September 10, 2009 at 6:12 PM

  14. Perhaps not even ONE !!

    I am advised of ONE possible fake report as a result of the ebayers personal message, I see it’s too late for negative feedback, but maybe follow up..


    September 10, 2009 at 5:35 PM

  15. I sometimes groan at the idiots who think they can ignore the fact that they have been caught out and determinedly relist fakes on ebay that have already been removed.

    Don’t they know when the game is up?? I can only assume that those who do this don’t actually have two brain cells to rub together!


    September 10, 2009 at 5:00 PM

  16. Thanks Micro for that.

    Hopefully more of the recent feedback leavers for this seller will know soon as well. The feedback is up to 8 at present.

    Kingston are aware of the rest listed and will be removing in due course. It all depends on how long ebay drag their heels on this one.

    The seller is simply going to relist until suspended.


    September 10, 2009 at 4:41 PM

  17. a member has sent messages to the first two REAL buyers of these flash drives from liam_ashey2009, asking them to check them for real BEFORE using them, and to report in to sosfakeflash with the results.

    I am awaiting a report back from this member.


    September 10, 2009 at 1:12 PM

  18. Another 18 counterfeit, fake capacity drives were removed by ebay after further pressure from Kingston.

    The seller has again relisted the same drives. This clearly demonstrates how ebay is not taking the appropriate action against this seller. Hopefully this seller, who has been reported again for relisting of these counterfeits, will get suspended.

    Once again, if you are one of the buyers for these counterfeits, do not make payment to this seller. If you have already paid, get your claim in now through ebay Safety Centre. Ebay are fully aware these drives are counterfeit, so they will be obliged to make sure you get your money back.


    September 9, 2009 at 9:22 PM

  19. Tried to contact sundoctor but also blocked. Must be an overall block for any messaging to this buyer.


    September 9, 2009 at 1:15 AM

  20. If anyone can contact ebay user “sundoctor” it would be appreciated, ebay has me blocked. He purchased 2 64 GB Kingston drives from “cherlon09” who has not been cooperative about testing her drives. Looking for a little help, Ebay USA

    Earl Smith

    September 9, 2009 at 12:53 AM

  21. There are sellers out there who are honest and totally unaware they are selling fake capacity and/or counterfeit goods.
    These sellers take the appropriate steps on finding out to make things right. They end the listings, they test, they contact customers and make amends.

    However, there are many more who know exactly what they are selling and try to bluff it out, plead ignorance, promise to test, say they will contact customers but only to delay the reports going in on them. They will push the sales and play for time and tell you their drives have tested fine.

    This seller is one of the latter. The seller is fully aware we are watching. As we discuss this the seller is watching us too.


    September 8, 2009 at 11:54 PM

  22. Hello Earl,

    It is very simple. This seller is a total crook out to defraud others to line his own pockets. The seller has bought a load of fake capacity, counterfeit goods at an extremely low price in order to sell them to unsuspecting victims for a good profit. Getting the testing software from you and agreeing to test was just a delaying tactic to prevent you from reporting the obvious fakes.
    Welcome to ebay UK.


    September 8, 2009 at 11:41 PM

  23. Sorry I was referring to liam_ashley2009

    Earl Smith

    September 8, 2009 at 11:33 PM

  24. Hello Earl,

    If you are still referring to aj9825, the seller has 3 items listed but none of them flash drives. The seller’s items can only be viewed by logging in to the USA ebay whereas items for sale by liam_ashey2009 can only be viewed on the UK ebay.
    You can use your same details for logging on to any ebay site round the world as long
    as you can understand the writing ie. not Chinese or Korean, unless of course you are also fluent in those languages.


    September 8, 2009 at 11:31 PM

  25. OK, he is on ebay UK that is why I do not see him. I guess he used the software I send him (Obieten) to test all those drives and they must be truly real? OK. He really has no excuse. SO ANSWER ME THIS?!!!! WHY WOULD HE DO SUCH A THING?

    Earl Smith

    September 8, 2009 at 11:30 PM

  26. Hello Earl,

    If you are still referring to aj9825, the seller has 3 items listed but none of them flash drives. The seller’s items can only be viewed by logging in to whereas items for sale by liam_ashey2009 can only be viewed on
    You can use your same details for logging on to any ebay site round the world as long as you can understand the writing ie. not Chinese or Korean, unless of course you are also fluent in those languages.


    September 8, 2009 at 11:28 PM

  27. 20 you are right… it’s late at night, the eyes are still jumping!!


    September 8, 2009 at 11:25 PM

  28. Snap!!!


    September 8, 2009 at 11:22 PM

  29. And now another 21 shown unsold due to complete starting 9th Sept 2009, this is on EBAY.CO.UK it may be different on (USA)


    September 8, 2009 at 11:21 PM

  30. I take it we are all reading from the same sheet here!

    I am referring to the seller liam_ashey2009, the one this blog is about.

    There are now 20 fresh listings for 32gb Kingstons.

    We are all looking at


    September 8, 2009 at 11:19 PM

  31. Only the entries for the 7th September seem to be missing, the 4,5,6 & 8th entries are still there or were 30 minutes ago, I have a complete list of all his postings, including the re-lists, they amount to over 60 from memory. (Ok bad choice of phrase, memory is a sore point) recollection is better ! My list for the 8th of September shows 11 entries all sold.


    September 8, 2009 at 11:11 PM

  32. I looked at his user ID but I didn’t see anything listed. I was the one that contacted ebay about his listing. I told ebay that the items were counterfeit because kingston does not make a DT 100 in a 128GB capacity. That is why the listing was cancelled. If you see any drive on ebay that is not one that is manufactured in their correct capacity you can report it as counterfeit.

    Earl Smith

    September 8, 2009 at 10:58 PM

  33. Over 20 fake capacity, counterfeit drives listed and sold by liam_ashey2009 have now been completely removed courtesy of Kingston.

    If you have bought one of these drives and not paid yet, then don’t.

    This seller was notified by a concerned ebay member that the advertised drives were fake capacity and counterfeit. The link to this site and h2testw was provided for the benefit of the seller. The link to the Kingston product line up was also provided.

    How did the seller respond? They said they would test but what they did instead was start listing more of these fake capacity counterfeits as quick as they could get them on.

    This is no innocent victim. This is a determined fraudster out to rip everyone and anyone off with no care for consequences for others as long as they can line their pockets. I really do hope to see the negatives flow on this seller.

    If you have any doubts on this, go look at the seller’s listings now. A further 19 of the same fake capacity, counterfeit drives have just been relisted by the seller regardless of what ebay or Kingston have to say.


    September 8, 2009 at 10:18 PM

  34. Hi Earl,
    A personal email has been sent to you. Please respond to this – a member of the team may be able to advise you how best to proceed if you want to help. If your efforts to warn people end up in you being kicked off ebay then you won’t be able to do much! We have learned over time that caution and prepared have to be the watchwords, however angry we may feel.


    September 8, 2009 at 8:19 PM

  35. First, I would like to think that all people are innocent until proven guilty, maybe that is just my charactor, it probably gets me into a lot of trouble. And as far as ebay is concerned if cancelling my account is one of their options that is the only way I am going to stop. I have helped so many people already and this is my only option at this time. I will continue until they shut me down. I have been a member for 9 years with 100% positive. I care about people. I will be careful though. Thank you for the heads up.

    Earl Smith

    September 8, 2009 at 6:17 PM

  36. Hi Earl,

    No sellers in China we investigated have proved to be innocent. They (unlike deliberate fraudsters in America and Europe) are very polite and will usually offer refunds immediately to the few who notice items are fake in order to avoid negative feedback. This allows them to continue with their fake flash sales.

    European and American fraudsters are often very rude when they are caught out. You took a big risk with your listings – numerous members of the frankenflash project got thrown off ebay for trying to post warning listings.

    We have tried it every which way! A few members who have been on ebay for years and have HUGE feedback scores get away with the odd listing – but most of us found ourselves de-registered after a while.


    September 8, 2009 at 5:59 PM

  37. There are good and bad people everywhere, even in China. The person that sold me the flash drives did not know they were fake. He has been very helpful and is currently working on my refund. I also sent him the information and test software.

    Earl Smith

    September 8, 2009 at 5:51 PM

  38. One more note, I recently tested a DT 150 32 GB, the test revealed that it has an amazing 256 MB Chip. I was suprized I thought it would at least be a 2 GB. Not all people are innocent, not all are guilty, this goes for all sellers. Let’s not be to critical even with the Chinese sellers, they get caught in traps just like anyone else. The wholesaler I bought from in China had no ideal about fake drives. He was very concerned about his reputation and is currently refunding my purchase. I was also the one that sent him the information and test software so he could test his drives. Remember there are good and bad people everywhere.

    Earl Smith

    September 8, 2009 at 5:39 PM

  39. Oh yes, aj9825, He was selling 128 GB Kingston DT 100. I was the one that reported it to ebay and told them that Kingston only made a DT 100 up to 32 GB. A 128 would have to be the DT 200. So it was me, not Kingston that was responsible for that.

    Earl Smith

    September 8, 2009 at 5:31 PM

  40. OBIETEN here, I am glad to see my efforts are making an impact. I can honestly say that I have contacted sellers on ebay that had no ideal that their drives were fake. Some of them who are selling fakes refuse to listen, jsan3000, currently on my target list, stated that she checked her drives and they are real. I suppose she thinks a visual check and a plug in constitutes a test. Waiting to see some of her feedback so I can contact the buyers with the information. I keep having people buy my information expecting a flash drive in their email box. That has caused me some difficulties, more when they order 10 or 15. PLEASE! I can only say it has been an adventure. If you have time, check out my listing. Ebay keeps cancelling it stating that I put it in the wrong place. I say Anything Else/Other VIA Email. What is wrong with that?

    Earl Smith

    September 8, 2009 at 5:28 PM

  41. “liam_ashey2009” also needs to learn how to accumulate feedback honestly. “liam_ashey2009” needs to read the feedback forum on eBay, to learn the reason eBay altered rating of subsequent multiple feedback from the same buyers, to prevent rapid feedback growth.
    “liam_ashey2009” feedback shows that the same buyers brought(!) multiple items without the required period between purchases, therefore, although their feedbacks are recorded, the overall sell totals are only incremented by ONE for each buyer.


    September 8, 2009 at 9:24 AM

  42. I see the 4th feedback in liam_ashey2009’s list is from
    a seller in America “Obieten” could this be a turning point in liam_ashey2009’s trading performance?

    Will he do the honourable thing and cancel all unpaid orders, refund paid orders and even those of the THREE locals in “West Yorks” that collected personally from him, despite his auction stating NO COLLECTION !!

    We shall see…


    September 8, 2009 at 8:47 AM

  43. The present picture being used by this seller is of a 2gb DT1 being clearly advertised as 32gb. The description does describe the DTG2, but the picture tells a different tale.

    I would advise against buying from this seller as the whole thing seems very suspicious.


    September 6, 2009 at 7:29 PM

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