Fighting flash fraud on Ebay

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

If you bought flash memory from bobob_uk test it with h2testw

with 23 comments

We though that the flash memory items listed on ebay by bobob_uk looked suspiciously cheap so we took a look at the seller’s feedback to see what buyers had to say.

We saw comments which suggest that the class six memory cards sold are not class six and are slow.

A number of people seemed to have returned items and asked for refunds and a couple of buyers said the seller is not in fact based in the UK.

If you bought flash memory from this seller we suggest that you test it immediately as it may be that the items are fake capacity – if the flash memory is fake capacity then it will eventually corrupt files.

We advise everyone who buys flash memory items to test them with the free program h2testw irrespective of where they were purchased – otherwise you run the risk of data loss and corruption.

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

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Written by fightflashfraud

April 5, 2010 at 12:42 AM

23 Responses

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  1. TO everyone!!!!

    BOBOB_UK IS BACK ON EBAY!!!

    they are using the name ‘christgift’

    Callum

    August 18, 2011 at 5:01 PM

  2. jose da Silva I think you mean bobob_uk not bobok_uk
    bobob_uk is indeed back again selling what can be best described as cheap junk, with the exception of cases and screen protectors for various smart phones at nearly 100 pounds?. That and the usual collection of stylus, a common fraudsters route to getting a good feedback score.

    Micro

    February 16, 2011 at 3:23 PM

  3. Hi, the bobok_uk its back again and the other accounts also. Don’t know how ebay left this seller return sell in their web site. Fake memory, cheaper and bad products, also use multi-listing which if forbiden by ebay.

    Don’t know whats happening with ebay? I already sent a messages reporting this seller for infrigement of ebay policies and the only thing i receive its a thanks to report.

    CRAZY EBAY. If nobody take action, in some days will go have only chineses selling fake goods from china and not paying tax.

    Thanks

    jose da Silva

    February 15, 2011 at 10:56 AM

  4. Hi LovingGeneva,
    Our team has been a bit thin on the ground lately so we haven’t had the capacity to analyse everything said in comments and respond fully. Bobob_UK was indeed a fraudulent ebay seller – a national newspaper in the UK recently published an article about tax evasion by this seller which resulted in suspension of this and other ebay IDs used by this seller/group of people. Tax evasion was the least of this seller’s crimes in our view!

    Anyone who bought a fake flash memory item from Bobob_UK should immediately open a paypal dispute and claim their money back!!

    fightflashfraud

    December 14, 2010 at 7:07 PM

  5. Hi fightflashfraud

    This is clear my Sandisk class 4 Card that is REAL is FASTER write and read speeds than the Sandisk from Bobob_UK!! Thank God he is delisted and will not con anyone else like he has myself!!

    The write Speed is 6.9MB/s whilst the Read Speed is 3MB/s.

    BUYERS BEWARE eBay user bobob_uk has been delisted for fraud. He lied for years about having a UK office. Has not paid taxes either. This is money LEAVING the UK economy by a SCAMMER.
    Thanks and regards

    LovingGeneva

    December 14, 2010 at 5:08 PM

  6. Hi LovingGeneva,
    The reader can affect speed but even so the read speed in particular seems suspiciously low and suggests a poor quality card, which we wouldn’t expect but if the test ran without errors it should be ok. The team member who knows most about SD cards is not around at the moment so can’t really say more than that.

    fightflashfraud

    December 14, 2010 at 8:28 AM

  7. I bought not understanding that there are a lot of con artists out there. BobobUk a seller on eBay sold me an Extreme 32GB card that is rated at Class 10 and 30MB/s.

    Using my laptop reader and H2Testw, recommended on here I have found:

    The write Speed is 6.95MB/s whilst the Read Speed is 3.06MB/s.

    It is in my Laptop reader being tested. Can the Speed be wrong or a sign of a fake card? Or is it my reader on the laptop?

    What should it be in terms of speed? I am using my SD.MS/Pro/MMC/XD reader on my laptop, its an HP Pavillion dv9000 so not so old on Vista.

    What should I do ?

    HERE IS THE RESULT:

    30424 to write took 1hr 12

    30424 Verifying took 2hrs and 45

    Test finished without errors.

    You can now delete the test files *.h2w or verify them again.
    Writing speed: 6.95 MByte/s
    Reading speed: 3.06 MByte/s
    H2testw v1.4

    Many thanks.

    Regards

    LovingGeneva

    December 14, 2010 at 2:06 AM

  8. Hi fightflashfraud

    The 32Gb card is the Extreme. Speed supposed to be 30MB/s. I have a large concern.

    The write Speed is 6.95MB/s whilst the Read Speed is 3.07MB/s.

    It is in my Laptop reader being tested. Can the Speed be wrong or a sign of a fake card? Or is it my reader on the laptop?

    Many thanks.

    Regards

    LovingGeneva

    December 13, 2010 at 11:15 PM

  9. Thanks. So do your tests show speed is slow.

    What speed would I expect for read and write on my SDHC class 10 sandisk?

    Thanks WallSt

    LovingGeneva

    December 13, 2010 at 10:44 PM

  10. Hi LovingGeneva
    If the card was sold as 8GB then it seems to be ok but not a top noch card as speed is a bit slow – not what we’d expect from Sandisk. If the capacity was supposed to be higher than 8GB you should re-run the test (after deleting test files) on at least half the capacity – if it passes again then (barring any faults) it is probably OK but not top notch. To be absolutely sure you can run a third test (having again deleted test files) on the full capacity – this will then show if there are any faults and at what point they occur.

    fightflashfraud

    December 13, 2010 at 9:48 PM

  11. These are the results for the first Sandisk Class 4. Its a 8GB. Is this okay then?

    Warning: Only 7528 of 7572 MByte tested.
    Test finished without errors.
    You can now delete the test files *.h2w or verify them again.
    Writing speed: 3.90 MByte/s
    Reading speed: 3.11 MByte/s
    H2testw v1.4

    LovingGeneva

    December 13, 2010 at 9:07 PM

  12. Hi LovingGeneva,
    Testing the full capacity of a 32GB item will take at least an hour – but low speed is a bad indicator – especially if it slows as the test progresses. Our normal test procedure is to test 8GB first – most fakes will fail by this point. We would then delete files and re-run the test for the whole capacity overnight – it can take 12 hours or even longer to fully test a fake capacity item programmed to show 32GB or more depending on what the programmer did.

    fightflashfraud

    December 13, 2010 at 7:38 PM

  13. Hi

    Now the possible bad news, the BobobUK sandisk card arrived, its supposed to be a 30Mbytes fast card at 32GB. The test is ongoing so I will report back. Below are some present write speeds data. I am using it on my laptop that is current and an Intel Centrino on Vista. I am running your h2testw.

    I have a reading so far of 6.7Mbytes per second, it is still continuing to test the 32GB Ultra fast 30Mbytes/s card. Should I be worried? It now reads 7.0 Mbytes/s how long should I let this go on for?
    Seems it will take over an hour.

    It is clearly NOT AS FAST as it should be??

    LovingGeneva

    December 13, 2010 at 7:24 PM

  14. Hi InGeneva

    We have found play.com pretty reliable – though one of us did get two faulty drives once, but they did replace them. Only buy from the actual company though, not on play trade where individuals sell as there are fakes there too.

    fightflashfraud

    December 10, 2010 at 7:38 AM

  15. Ebay has suspended the accounts of one of its biggest traders after we revealed that it was selling goods worth more than £1million a year without a VAT number.

    As protestors against tax dodging take to the streets, Britain needs every penny of tax revenue it can get.

    We’re not helped when large firms like eBay turn a blind eye to apparent tax evasion right under their noses.

    Bobob_uk claims to be “the largest and the most professional electronics eBay seller in the UK”.

    The trader sold at least 245,000 items last year, putting it well above the £70,000-a-year level where traders are required to register for VAT.

    Crucially, it offers UK stock which will be ­delivered in “1-3 days”.

    VAT rules are very clear – if the item is in the UK when it is sold, then UK VAT applies.

    Posing as a businessman with a bulk order, we asked bobob_uk if they could give us a VAT receipt.

    Someone called Ella – we’re guessing English isn’t her first language – told us: “We are confident to deserved to best quality, good service but to be honest, we are ­inconvenient to provide VAT to you.”

    Erm, sounds like a no to us.

    Most genuine traders give eBay their VAT number for the simple reason that their listing fees become VAT-free.

    In bobob_uk’s case, that tax break could be worth £30,000 a year. But not as much as the £150,000 or more to be saved by not paying VAT to the taxman.

    Four linked accounts turnover an estimated £600,000 a year selling UK stock, but none of them gives a VAT number.

    Bobob_uk claims to have been based in the UK since 2007, but we’re not so sure. It has used a string of addresses, including a London mailbox and a PO box in Ipswich.

    But “Ella” e-mailed us from somewhere in China and Shuai Xu, the sole director of a limited company behind one of the eBay accounts, told Companies House his home address was in Shanghai.

    Two more of Xu’s eBay accounts give a trading address in Hong Kong where we found TAKA Corporate Consulting Ltd, a nominee company secretary firm providing Hong Kong addresses to thousands of Chinese companies.

    We were able to track down one of bobob_uk’s UK distributors, on an industrial estate in Ipswich, Suffolk.

    Zhenglai Cai, 35, of SanFeng Ltd, insisted that his firm paid VAT and promised to investigate whether bobob_uk was doing the same.

    Zhenglai Cai VAT Scam Ipswich
    Distributor Zhenglai Cai of eBay insists he is legit

    An eBay spokeswoman told us it was the seller’s ­responsibility to stick to the law. But she also said eBay had suspended the trader’s five accounts while it “clarifies whether he is in ­compliance with both our own rules and UK law”.

    VAT evasion not only cheats the taxpayer, it’s also unfair on genuine UK traders who do all they can to play by the rules.

    Ebay could very easily put a system in place to demand VAT numbers when ­turnover hits £70,000.

    But, ultimately, that’s a job for HM Revenue and Customs, which has already been hit by a 28% reduction in enforcement and ­compliance officers since 2008.

    The Government’s cutting another 15% from HMRC’s funding and Mark Serwotka, general secretary of civil service union PCS told us: “Years of job cuts in HMRC have not only hit the department’s ability to collect and administer tax efficiently, they’ve ­also undermined public confidence in our tax system, as we’re now seeing in the protests against tax dodgers on our high streets.

    “The department is woefully short of trained tax inspectors, particularly VAT officials, and further job cuts planned by this government betray a reckless disregard for the urgent need to clamp down on illegal and questionable activity.”

    unknown

    December 10, 2010 at 2:19 AM

  16. Thanks for your excellent response fightflashfraud. Can you kindly suggest WHERE I CAN BUY FROM in the UK or Elsewhere safely?

    This was useful, I am new to all of this and I think eBay will help refund.

    Here is what I found eg negative reviews on eBay stating as you are:

    http://reviews.ebay.co.uk/Fraud-memory-sellers-like-bobob-uk_W0QQugidZ10000000012941163

    and then this review also negative

    http://reviews.ebay.co.uk/bobob-uk_W0QQugidZ10000000019428648

    Enjoy reading this article from the Mirror about this scammer:

    http://blogs.mirror.co.uk/investigations/2010/12/ebay-has-suspended-the-account.html

    “Ebay has suspended the accounts of one of its biggest traders after we revealed that it was selling goods worth more than £1million a year without a VAT number.

    As protestors against tax dodging take to the streets, Britain needs every penny of tax revenue it can get.

    We’re not helped when large firms like eBay turn a blind eye to apparent tax evasion right under their noses.

    Bobob_uk claims to be “the largest and the most professional electronics eBay seller in the UK”.

    InGeneva

    December 9, 2010 at 10:35 PM

  17. Hi InGeneva,

    Shame you didn’t find our post before you bought. Looks like this seller finally got kicked off ebay after months of dodgy sales. If your item doesn’t arrive in the next week (we actually wouldn’t expect it to have arrived yet given recent weather) and ebay does not refund you please let us know – they do promise buyer protection. You are probably better off (from what we have seen) not to receive from this seller!

    Always check buyer feedback for sellers very carefully before you buy – and if you have any sense stay away from any flash memory item above about 4GB on ebay unless you know a lot about flash memory items – most stuff above this capacity on ebay is fake (and even some at this capacity!) – and 90% of flash memory items above 16GB on ebay are fakes!!

    We advise everyone who buys flash memory items to test them with the free program h2testw irrespective of where they were purchased – otherwise you run the risk of data loss and corruption.

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

    fightflashfraud

    December 9, 2010 at 8:16 PM

  18. I bought a 32GB 30MBperSecond card from bobob_uk on eBay Dec 1 2010. I paid upfront. It states he has shipped the item. I have not recieved it at all. Worse of all his account has DISAPPEARED FROM EBAY.

    Contacting ebay to get an idea what will happen. This sucks as Christmas is here.

    InGeneva

    December 9, 2010 at 3:39 PM

  19. Hi Brandon,
    That’s fair enough – what you said is simply fair comment. We were not (unlike in some cases where it is obvious that something is fake) sure whether they were actually fakes or just not high quality. We’d be interested to hear from other buyers (as sometimes a seller has a mixture of fakes and low quality flash) since the post was prompted largely by the apalling feedback! I personally bought a genuine (buyt not high quality) flash drive from one ebayer so when I wanted a memory card I chose that seller and landed a fake!

    You are right about the way that flash memory capacity is calculated, but a hard drive should not have been calculated that way – that should be the full 1024 mb per GB, though we have found that some are not in recent years. The better quality flash memory chips (like the one in my 16GB PNY) can have the full 14.9 GB you calculate and we have heard of some really top noch flash memory that comes closer to the full 1024 mb per GB than this one does.

    fightflashfraud

    July 21, 2010 at 4:11 PM

  20. Hi,
    Looks like I’m sticking up for this guy, he does have some truly awful feedback. I only really wanted to suggest to anyone who was bought a card not to assume the worst.

    14.8gb on a 16gb card is normal, this is merely due to the way card manufacturers calculate size vs how your computer calculates the same size. So… Manufacturers advertise a GB as exactly 1,000,000,000 bytes. A true GB has 1,073,741,824 bytes. This is equal to 1024^3. In the 16GB case, 16,000,000,000 / 1024 / 1024 / 1024 = ~14.9 GB
    For instance My computer lists my 500gb hard drive as 465gb

    As to the speed, I’m being picky. It’s very slight. You can notice this with large amounts of data but not ‘in phone’. For transfer speeds the card being in the phone, not just connected via USB does have an impact. Think about how long it takes to transfer files from a card in a digital camera vs a card reader directly attaced to a USB port.

    All that said I do feel I was lucky, having looked at this guys feed back. I made a saving of roughly £15.00. If I were to buy a card in the future I would almost certainly go to trusted outlet and spend that £15.00 on peace of mind and a decent card.

    Brandon

    July 21, 2010 at 3:41 PM

  21. Hi Brandon,

    Accessing via a cable shouldn’t affect speed if you’re connecting to a USB2 port (rather than 1.1) – seems likely that (as feedback for the seller suggested) the chips are low grade seconds if access is slow and only 14.8GB is available.

    fightflashfraud

    July 21, 2010 at 5:31 AM

  22. Might be worth pointing out, I bought a 16gb card from this seller, checked it out with the excellent software you suggested, expecting the worst. It was fine, 14.8gb as it should be. Seems a touch slow, but I put it down to the card being in a phone accessed via a data cable.

    Brandon

    July 21, 2010 at 1:28 AM


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