Fighting flash fraud on Ebay

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UK seller nextvision-uk selling own-brand fakes?

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nextvision-uk This is an unusual case. UK seller nextvision-uk may be selling own-brand fakes! An ebay member working with the frankenflash project recently purchased an “own brand” 8GB flash drive from seller nextvision-uk. The buyer felt the low price made the drive seem suspect, so before purchasing the buyer contacted the seller through ebay and got a very re-assuring response. The drive failed testing with H2testw so the buyer contacted the seller through ebay with this information. The seller responded to this message by saying to send the drive back for a refund. Not only did the buyer inform the seller that the drive was not a genuine 8GB flash drive, the buyer also emailed the test program to the address provided on the invoice and asked the seller to test the drives for himself. There was no response to this email and listings for this drive have remained on Ebay.

The buyer then contacted fightflashfraud who looked at the listing and noticed something that seems to indicate that this is deliberate fraud. In the terms and conditions it says”Please also note that items will NOT be considered for exchange/refund once negative feedback left.” Hmm – fighflashfraud is inclined to translate this as: “Keep your mouth shut and you get a refund if you discover my drives are crap, but if you expose me as a fraudster by leaving negative feedback you will lose your money” – we could be wrong of course, but it seems unlikely. Time will tell! We will be interested to hear from anyone else who bought from this seller.

There are some very odd things about the item the buyer alerted fightflashfraud to (item number 190298552424) for one thing, after being told it was fake the seller reduced the price instead of removing the listing and testing the items. For another the buyer list changed in a very strange way as demonstrated by the image below:


The buyer list originally showed many more buyers than it does now – a screenshot of part of the original list is on the left. The list seen by anyone visiting the listing now is shown on the right – it has gone into reverse order around buyer hanaspanaspoon and all buyers after a certain point on the 20th have vanished although there were buyers after this. Very fishy indeed in the opinion of the fightflashfraud team!

UPDATE 30th April
The buyer contacted a few other people who bought this drive and those who have replied said their files were corrupted. It seems we have a deliberate fraudster here – if you bought a drive from this seller test it with h2testw and claim a refund. As this seems to be deliberate fraud which causes file loss by someone in the UK perhaps buyers might want to consider reporting the seller to the UK police.

Written by fightflashfraud

April 27, 2009 at 12:46 AM

UK seller of dodgy flash drives – beware of this item.

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UK seller nextvision-uk has a dodgy supplier and the drives sold can not be trusted. The seller claims they are tested with h2testw to give buyers confidence. An enquiry by a buyer whose drive failed the test got the response that 10% of the drives are tested.

Seller nextvision-uk asked the buyer to return the drive for a replacement. The buyer duly did so when nextvision-uk assured the buyer a tested replacement would be provided. The buyer did not get the promised working replacement, instead nextvision-uk refunded the buyer and requested a transaction cancellation.

This suggests to us that nexvision-uk could not find a reliable drive to send to the buyer. What most people do not realise is that the low grade chips used in cheap flash drives (even those that have not been fraudulently programmed) have a high failure rate. Testing is absolutely essential otherwise there is a high risk of data loss.

The flash drive our buyer got did not seem to have been fraudulently programmed. However, it failed h2testw due to bad sectors on the drive – very common with low grade chips. This would eventually lead to problems with the drive – it is likely that at some point files would begin to be lost or corrupted and there is a high risk of the drive failing altogether.

This seller previously sold own-brand flash drives which, according to a test carried out by a buyer, used low-grade 2GB chips fraudulently programmed by the supplier to show in the operating system as 8GB. The seller eventually withdrew these fakes from sale though we doubt very much that he refunded all his buyers.

You can see the original post about this seller here – it indicates some rather fishy goings-on. We wouldn’t trust this seller as far as we could throw him.

As always 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

July 2, 2009 at 8:58 AM