Fighting flash fraud on Ebay

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

Archive for the ‘Flash Device Education’ Category

Upcoming article about Internet fraud for Which? magazine

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A freelance journalist has contacted us because he is planning to write an article about fraud on the Internet for Which? magazine. He is writing it from a consumer perspective and is interested in hearing from victims of fake flash fraud.

If anyone would like to speak to him about their experience, please leave a comment on this post and we will pass your email address on to him – we have not made his email address public and we will not make yours public either!

A Visual Example – Guide Made Easy: Proving A Fake USB Flash Memory Pen Drive Stick Pen To Be False Capacity

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A Fake usb flash drive, is a memory pen stick that has been digitally altered – reprogrammed to lie to an operating system about the real size of it’s flash nand storage chip. Once you exceed true capacity of the chip, you begin to loose files. People do not suspect the real reason, thinking it an error in the data transfer. Only when it happens again and again do they suspect there is something more… How can you find out if you have a fake usb flash drive?

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MP Players eBay – Cheap Bargains or Fabulous Fraud and Profit? SOSFakeFlash Education Week

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Is eBay the place to buy MP Players cheap? Can you get a 8GB or 16GB or 32GB Player on eBay for less that $40 or $50 US? SOSFakeFlash is launching an education week for consumers. Recently they launched an general education week on fake and counterfeit memory devices sold on eBay: SOSFakeFlash Consumer Education Week 20090605 – 20090612. The Problem of Counterfeit and Fake Memory Sold On Ebay

This time they will be show casing sellers who sold false capacity MP Players. Too many buyers fall for seller claims that the units are defective. Most never learn the truth, these items have had their flash chips manipulated to report a size much larger that the chips can support. SOSFakeFlash is inviting buyers to learn more and leave comments on their experiences.

Visit this site during the next week for an eye opening education!

http://sosfakeflash.wordpress.com/

The information is useful, not only to people who buy on eBay but any where on the internet for MP Players. Become a smart consumer!

Written by KittyFireFlash

June 24, 2009 at 5:02 AM

Kingston Technologies WebSite Feature To Verify Capacity Offered By Product Line

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Kingston Technologies has introduced a wonderful new feature for searching their consumer usb flash drive products. You can select the capacity and see which product lines offer the desired capacity. It is a great search consulting tool and part of Kingston’s effort to combat those who would like to sell cheap imitations (counterfeits) of their products or try to super boost older models to report false capacity to operating systems.

Almost all major brand names are currently under attack from counterfeiters and re-programmers. Two companies, Kingston and Sony are fighting back. Kingston is applying additional effort to aid consumers world wide. They have a serial verification site and now have improved their search feature to show what are the capacity sizes they manufactured for a particular product line.

If you wish to purchase a Kingston usb flash drive on the internet you should always visit a Kingston website to verify they really make the product in the capacity being advertised to you by a seller. Your first step to being a smart and well informed consumer. If you don’t see the capacity offered by Kingston, you can be 100% sure that it is a counterfeit which will report a false capacity.

Such flash drives are very dangerous to use as digitally altered flash drives lead to data loss – eventually ALL FILES are lost or corrupted. To check what is currently available from Kingston see:
http://www.kingston.com/flash/DataTravelers_consumer.asp

If you are a potential reseller stay away from importing any drives like the ones below from Chinese wholesale suppliers!!

64gbsonyasakingston

64GBlarge2They were never make by Kingston. You can not purchase 64GB USB flash drives wholesale (even generic ones, let alone a brand name) at the price shown above. There is no such thing as “Upgrading” a usb flash drive, as suggested in the advert above.

You can not make a 2GB flash memory chip magically grow to 4GB, 8GB 16GB or more with some sort of software upgrade. Translated UPGRADE means “trick the operating system” into believing the usb flash drive can hold more data than it can actually hold.

If you see any USB flash drives with a shiny little sticker for size like the one on the left or the green and yellow “quality control” sticker shown in both pictures, then you are looking at a fake.

PLEASE UNDERSTAND THIS:
Kingston does not use sticky labels to indicate the size of USB flash drives.

Kingston produce quality USB flash drives and are not so miserly as to cut corners with a sticker for the size.

If you wish to be safe consult: http://www.kingston.com/wheretobuy/Regions.asp and find a retailer near you. These are difficult times, support your local sellers and help your own country’s economy.

Written by KittyFireFlash

June 18, 2009 at 5:48 AM

Confirmed A Kingston 128GB USB Flash Drive Genuine Now exists!

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Kingston now makes a 128GB usb flash drive! It is in the new DataTraveler series, the DT200 series. There is now one usb flash drive from Kingston that is a genuine 128GB capacity.

UPDATE 11/02/2010
Sadly for consumers the counterfeiters in China quickly replicated the casing of the DT200 flash drive and put inferior memory chips (of various capacities up to 4GB) inside and programmed the control chips to display higher capacities. Currently the DT200 is one of the most regularly sold counterfeit (and fake capacity) flash drives sold on ebay. For a look at a fake DT 200 see this article on Nandium’s blog.

Written by KittyFireFlash

June 17, 2009 at 4:40 AM

SOSFakeFlash Consumer Education Week 20090605 – 20090612. The Problem of Counterfeit and Fake Memory Sold On Ebay

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SOSFakeFlash published a series of articles to educate consumers on the problem of fake mp players, usb flash drives and memory sticks sold on ebay during the week of June 5th 2009 to June 12th 2009. It includes information collected by the FrankenFlash Project over a 13th month period. The objective was to increase global awareness about the problem of false capacity devices being sold on eBay and to assist members to avoid buying false capacity items. These devises can be dangerous to files as they will be lost the moment the true capacity of the flash drive chips is exceeded.

Consumers will fall prey to fake flash sellers, not only in the Orient but any country if they make a dangerous mistake. Not understanding the true costs of nand flash drive chips. Many assume that the reason for the low prices on eBay is the result of cutting out the “Middle Man”. Anyone who follows this line of reasoning is in for a very unpleasant surprise. The FrankenFlash project after many months of research reveals the truth in the hope that people will avoid becoming victims in the future. The old saying “You get what you pay for” is stinging!

Published:

Additional Reading:

Written by KittyFireFlash

June 12, 2009 at 4:36 AM

FAKE 16GB 32GB 64GB – Conversations Between A Fake Flash Seller and A Victim – The Truth About the Scam Exposed

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Why are fake usb pen sticks, MP players and memory cards sold on eBay? The false capacity ranging from 2GB 4GB 8GB 16GB 32GB 60GB 64GB 120GB 240GB 260GB 360GB to 500GB sizes.

One size is advertised but the true size is much smaller! You buy a 16GB MP player but only get 2GB or 4GB of storage. You buy a 16GB usb flash drive and get 1GB or 2GB of storage, maybe 4GB if you are lucky. You buy a 16GB memory card and only get 2GB or 4GB. When it comes to usb flash drives and memory cards, the digital alteration of the controller flash chip is deadly – you lose your data! Do the ebay sellers know what they are doing? Is there a reason?

Recently SOSFakeFlash asked for stories, experiences. We received one, an explicit conversation between a fake flash seller and a buyer victim. It dates to the summer of 2008 and nothing since has changed. It is published exactly as received. It might be long but if you want answers start reading!

Presented by Dave:

Hi,

My names Dave and I only recently came across your site – I think it’s great and these people need to be stopped. A long while ago I had a problem with a cheap MP4 player and began talking to the seller on Skype, the conversation became very interesting! I’ll let you read!! :

I will say that it is very long, so you don’t have to read all of it, but if you have the time, you can. If not the middle bit is interesing. I might have gotten a bit harsh at times, but they were harsh to me in first place!

Read the rest of this entry »

False negatives left for honest ebay seller.

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An ebayer who has worked with the frankenflash project for several months was de-registered by ebay this morning. This seller (who wrote the guide to fake flash that you can download here) was a victim of fake flash and tried every which way she could think of to warn other ebayers about fake flash. Ebay threatened her and removed listings a number of times for reasons we consider spurious – she was simply trying to help others avoid the fake flash trap.

She thought she found a way of warning and helping people without falling foul of ebay rules. Having found that some people cannot download things from the Internet she burned some CDs with the test program h2testw and the documentation about authorship on them. She then listed these for sale at a price that just covered her costs.

Two people left negative comments suggesting that her item was damaging to computers. Neither actually received the CD or had their payment cleared before leaving their negs! One left the negative comment almost immediately after winning the item so did not receive the program at all!! The other was kindly sent the program by the seller by email before her echeque payment cleared so that she would not have to wait for the program.

Ebay has now de-registered this altruistic seller for copyright infringement. It seems they were correct – but her infringment was not deliberate and she has apologised to the copyright holder.

The fact remains – buyer protection on ebay is all lies and jest. A big “joke” that costs anyone who buys fake flash on ebay dearly. DO NOT BUY FLASH MEMORY ON EBAY!!!!

Written by fightflashfraud

May 2, 2009 at 8:04 PM

Cost of flash chips in media players, flash drives or memory cards

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SOSFakeFlash asks that all victims of fake flash purchases read the following article by FlashChipTutor:

What Are The Real Costs For Flash Chips In China? Guide 2009

Please see the current pricing for flash chips. You still need to test but you will understand why you fell into the fake flash pit along with the rest of us. FlashChipTutor is interested in your comments!

MP Players eBay Stop Buying 8GB 16GB MP3 MP4 At Cut Rate Bargain Prices SOSFakeFlash Advises

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MP Players are hot on eBay! Beware. 8GB and 16GB Players with MP3 or MP4 are likely to be fakes or counterfeits if you bought at low prices. If you are lucky your MP player will be 2GB or 4GB – not more.

Fake MP Players on eBay are an old story and it’s been around for several years. Every day there is a new crop of victims. Why? Bargain hunting! SOSFakeFlash has no choice but to issue this warning. Do not buy any MP Players on eBay advertised as 8GB or 16GB. Period! Stop looking for bargains! You are not going to get a real 8GB or 16GB at $25 to $50.

We know that economic conditions are hard, but you need to be realistic about paying fair prices. If you want to pay less and get more – welcome to fake flash hell!

You might find SOSFakeFlash’s words harsh. They are. Too many people are being frauded and few get their money back. Many eBayers are conned into believing their MP Player is “defective”. There is nothing defective in reprogramming a flash drive chip to lie about it’s size!

Make sure to look at the reference reading presented below for additional information and advice. Also see the list of eBay Sellers caught selling fake MP Players as of April 4th, 2009 at the end of this article

Most of the Fake MP Players are coming from sellers in Hong Kong and China. There appear to be two distinct rings operating under many id’s. It is a fake flash collective. Beware that due to SOSFakeFlash’s internet presence eBay sellers are now listing advertising local countries. You will only realize the truth when your MP Player arrives.

The profits from selling fake MP Players is mind numbing! Current estimates are 1 in a 250 sold leads to a PayPal dispute, that is 249 ahead. Both eBay and fake flash seller are dancing with fake flash profit joy – at your expense!

Avoid the misery of filing disputes. The pain grows when eBay quickly suspends the seller, whoops all listings gone, all evidence gone. You will have to crawl under the hood of your Paypal account and do a lot of extra digging to file a dispute when a seller is deregistered.

eBay and PayPal are not not going to make it easy for you. The harder the better. After all they don’t want to refund you. eBay has never warned members who bought from a fake flash seller and they never will. Why? It means admitting to the fact they have a problem.

Never pay for an MP Player using your bank account, use your credit card with PayPal. It gives you a better chance of recovering your money. PayPal hates it. Fake flash sellers will hate it more! PayPal may say they can’t refund you because they need to get to the fake flash sellers funds. Funny how quickly they will claw back the money from the fraudster when the credit card company does a reversal!

For now, do not buy MP Players at 8GB 16GB with MP3 MP4 on eBay. Save up until you have enough to buy a real one locally. There are just too many fakes. eBay is not cleaning things up, instead they registering sellers so they can remove listings and all traces of what these scammers sold! The fraud is astonishing.

If you bought an MP Player on eBay, tested it and found out you have a fake, make sure you leave a negative immediately! File a dispute afterwards. Never withdraw your negative in exchange for a refund. Never return a fake with the hope or promise of your refund. Also be a good citizen and do your part – contact other buyers who left positive feedback and get them to test! If you left positive feedback – do follow up feedback indicating that you really bought a fake! Add in your feedback the web address sosfakeflash.wordpress.com – our calling card and message to fake flash sellers and to assist other eBayers trying to find the truth and get help!

Also visit the new site http://flashdrivefacts.wordpress.com/ and read:

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

Now, have a look at the sellers caught by SOSFakeFlash so far.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by KittyFireFlash

April 5, 2009 at 5:53 AM

SOSFakeFlash Reports Counterfeit Corsair Voyager 64GB On eBay

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Corsair now joins Sony, Kingston and Transcend to have their brand name usb flash drives counterfeited and sold on eBay. The joys of fake flash selling, the profits are so good and for brand names commanding high prices the profit is addicting. The misery of fake flash buyers, the woes of data loss and trying to get money back.

SOSFakeFlash has now two ebay sellers reported and of course confirmed. Sellers or want to be sellers on eBay. Pay Attention! Make sure you test your merchandise properly. The program H2testw 1.4 doesn’t cost you a penny and links to it are found out the FrankenFlash Project sites. It will save you a lot of coming misery if you purchased cheat merchandise. The wholesale prices for usb flash drives are not Cheap and never have been. Visit the http://flashdrivefacts.wordpress.com/ to learn more about prices. That new site is devoted it educating sellers and buyers.

The most disturbing things is that both Corsair and Kingston have had their lastest flash drives faked. This hurts! It costs a lot of money to develop new technology and having it ripped off and counterfeited with cheap imitations causing data loss and a very negative experience in the consumers mind is damaging. As usual, don’t expect eBay to wiggle a finger to stop it. They will only do the bare minimum and have always chosen the easily road – closing the barn door after the horse has bolted. It’s some time hard to see the difference. eBay appears as addicted to profit as the fake flash sellers. Mean while, brand names can suffer and the buyers too.

We understand the problems of the current economic situation. But if you penny pitch when it comes to usb flash drives, you will be knocking at our door soon. SOSFakeFlash has had a rash of fake Data Traveler 150 32GB fakes being reported on eBay. Add the recent Transcend, Sony and now Kingston we have only one sad conclusion:

Until eBay visits the Betty Ford clinic to clean up their profit fee addiction and develops a backbone to address the fake and counterfeit flash device issue for brand names and no name in MP Players, Memory Cards and USB Flash drives – STAY AWAY FROM BUYING ANY OF THESE ITEMS ON EBAY! It is not safe.

You need to understand the realistic prices. Once again SOSFakeFlash has some advice if you want to buy these items on eBay;

Use a Credit Card! Fight with PayPal’s silly payment system that tries to discourage you from using a credit card, blocking the options. Struggle through their pages to get to the options to use it.

Why? Because if you are bitten with a fake flash purchase you don’t have to suffer their moaning and groaning and excuses. You can call your credit card company. PayPal hates this. Victims of fake flash love this. It seems the credit card companies are more interested in your business and welfare then they are. Read Buying On eBay – MP Players – Memory Cards – USB Flash drives – Why You should Use A Credit Card To Pay And Not Your Bank Account

If you are a fake flash victim read up on all the Paypal advice in:

PayPal How Long Do You Have To Claim For A Refund In Disputes? A Guide About PayPal From eBayer’s Experiences

We know times are hard, but a usb flash drive is an investment. Don’t be come a victim of fake or counterfeit usb flash. Be very careful with brand names, Corsair’s Voyager just joined the brand names being sold counterfeited as fakes on eBay.

FlashChipTutor Publishes Article Series on Counterfeit Fake Sony Microvault USB Flash Drives

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The Sony Micro Vault brand name for usb flash drives is a target for fraudsters and scammers. Selling false capacity usb flash drives under this brand name, consumers and resellers are being stung! Many who purchase these drives are losing data! eBay sellers are purchasing these dangerous items from internet sites in China and Hong Kong. Some are victims who have not bothered to do their homework in researching the product they are selling. Others know exactly what they are doing and are reaping Hugh profits.

Recently these fakes have been showing up for sale locally on eBay in the UK, Europe and also North America. FlashChipTutor has identified these usb flash drives and has presented them for all to see!

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.

New Site FlashDriveFacts Launched To Promote Consumer Awareness About MP Players – USB Flash Drives – Memory Cards

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To educate the global public on MP Players, USB Flash Drives and Memory Cards the FrankenFlash Project has launched a new site – http://flashdrivefacts.wordpress.comahead of schedule.

Recent work by eBay Fake Flash Angels is outreach campaigns to eBay Sellers revealed that most had purchased their fake and counterfeit flash devices from internet sites in Hong Kong and China. Most sellers after having been convinced to test withdrew their listings. In investigating these sites, it was clear that the source of these items pouring into eBay came from this region. Something had to be done!

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New Website Site Joining The FrankenFlash Project Soon – Scams MP Players – USB Flash Drives – Memory Cards

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The FrankenFlash Project has a new site that will be joining the project very soon. FLASHDRIVEFACTS at http://flashdrivefacts.wordpress.com/ will address consumer education on the subject of flash technology for MP Players, USB Flash Drives and Memory Cards. Chaired by Flashchiptutor, it will expose counterfeit and fake items available on the international market.

Why is there a need for a new site? How can you help?

Read the rest of this entry »

Ebay sellers of USB flash drives please take note!!

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Selling flash memory on ebay? Please read this!! Yet another ebayer (rexiho1987) who listed fake flash drives has been de-registered by ebay and had listings removed. Sellers please be aware that if you don’t check that your flash memory items are genuine this is likely to happen to you. If you plan to sell brand name USB flash drives check the models offered on the company’s web site – if the drives you are thinking of selling are not an exact match with a drive on the company’s web site then the item is counterfeit and undoubtedly fake capacity. There is a simple way to test the capacity of flash memory items – use the free program h2testw

Transcend 32GB Counterfeit USB Flash Drive Found On eBay – JetFlash V30

Transcend joins Sony and Kingston to have counterfeit USB Flash Drives sold on eBay. JetFlash V30 line had a maximum genuine capactiy of 16GB in size. Transcend, like Kingston uses colour coding to distinguish different capacities. Currently targeted by counterfeit flash sellers is the 4GB model that is being supersized to astonishing 32GB capacity. It this 4GB model is also pretenting to confuse and to sneak in at 16GB a genuine size. Only the true 16GB has the pink band not green.

Sold on eBay by hellopetpet was a 32GB Flash drive.

Transcend-32GB

Notice the colour band is green. The colour coding chart for the JetFlash V30 shows:

JetFlashV30

So green would be a 4GB usb flash drive and not a 32GB flash drive. The ebayer who performed the testing with H2testw 1.4 reported what size? 4GB!

This same model (green code) is for sale right now on ebay as 16GB by…

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Guide – Protect Yourself Against Counterfeit Fake Transcend USB Flash Drives – Product Verification

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How do you tell a true Transcend USB Flash Drive from a Counterfeit (Fake – False Capacity)? Where can you check?

Transcend is the latest Brand Name to suffer from Counterfeiting for USB Flash Drives, joining Kingston and Sony. SOSFakeFlash recently received their first confirmation of a Transcend 32 JetFlash V30 USB Flash Drive being sold on eBay by seller hellopetpet. The Transcend 32 JetFlash V30 is only made up to 16GB in size. When SOSFakeFlash reviewed eBay for Transcend Flash drives it was not difficult to detect the true capacity from the counterfeits. Like Kingston, Transcend uses colour coding. Within a few minutes two other sellers were detected selling counterfeit Transcend 32 JetFlash V30 flash drives, ren-ren-buy and maya.city .

You should visit the Official Transcend site to check out what they sell. USB Flash Drives Made By Transcend

For older models, type the model in on google, then look for the transcend website. Like most manufacturers these days they don’t show an archive of older models, but like many sites, the pages are still there.

Transcend is very much aware of the counterfeiting of their products and have set up product verification.

In order to protect our customers rights and our superior brand image, we have set up this site to allow customers to verify the authenticity of their products.

Product Verification

Go to their webpage and verify the flash drive you bought. You can use it to check other products to see if they are genuine too. If you don’t see your drive, get a message that they did not make it, have doubts or questions, please contact them for help:

techsupport@transcend.com.tw

If you performed testing and found you bought a counterfeit, let them know. Tell them where you bought the item and from whom. The only way to put a stop to this problem is to help. You probably chose transcend to AVOID buying a fake in the first place. Let them know where you bought your counterfeit from!

If you need or want to test the real capacity of your usb flash drive see: H2testw 1.4 – Gold Standard In Detecting USB Counterfeit Drives If it turns out you bought it on eBay and is a fake, please Report A Fake to SOSFakeFlash.

Written by KittyFireFlash

March 8, 2009 at 3:29 PM

UK based ebay seller gambinnno123 lists obvious fake flash drive

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UK seller gambinnno123 has listed one of the most obvious fake USB flash drives we have seen recently. The listing is on buy it now with buyer information hidden – pretty well a sure-fire sign of fraud. The packaging is very familiar – it was used for many fake drives a while back. If you see packaging like this steer well clear! The vaio trademark is reserved by Sony for laptops. It has never been used for flash drives. These items are 100% fake. Anyone who buys will end up losing their files and we think gambinnno123 knows it! If you have bought USB flash drives on ebay or elswhere on the internet, or are thinking of doing so (whether for personal use or to re-sell) we advise you to download Helen’s guide to fake flash. You can download it from the page Guide to fake flash listed at the top of the right-hand panel. It doesn’t cover everything but will give you some idea of what to look out for. gambino

An interesting slide show about fake flash.

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A recent comment on sosfakeflash has a link to a slide show about fake flash that fightflashfraud found rather interesting. You might also find it interesting and informative! A link to the slide show is provided below:
http://www.slideshare.net/belonesox/fake-flashes-from-topkeen-presentation

Written by fightflashfraud

March 6, 2009 at 1:11 AM

Guide to fake USB flash drives now available from fightflashfraud!

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An ebay member has produced a guide to fake USB flash drives and has provided this to fightflashfraud in pdf format for you to download.  The guide shows a variety of both fake and genuine flash drives and gives guidance about ways to spot fake USB flash drives. If you bought a USB flash drive that seems suspect you should test it immediately with h2testw. Fake flash drive = lost files in the long run!  Go to the page:  Guide to fake flash to get this valuable information

Flash drives with Sony’s Vaio trademark on them are fake.

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For the information of all buyers: The Sony trademark name Vaio is used only for laptops – it is not (and never has been) used for other items such as USB flash drives. Any flash drive displaying this name is an illegal counterfeit. Not only that – it is fake capacity and you will lose your files after a while if you buy a flash drive like the one below:

vaio

Drives like this are produced by fraudsters who program the control chip to display any capacity they like to the operating system. Use one and you will eventually lose your files. Do not buy a flash drive if you see the Vaio name either on the packaging or the drive itself!!

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.

Ebay seller Alert!! Beware – your items may be fake!

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It seems that many ebayers in the UK are buying fake USB flash drives and other fake flash memory items in bulk  on web sites such as dhgate.com, alibaba.com and shoponclearance.com.  They are then re-selling these items on eBay without realising their items are fake.  We cannot stress enough how important resarch and testing are if you plan to sell flash memory items such as USB flash drives, SD memory cards, pro duo memory sticks, MP4 players and so on.

If an item shows a company name (such as Sony or Kingston) check their website to see if the item matches what is shown there. If not,  it is probably fake. Whether or not they are branded items you should test them immediately they arrive with h2testw. Do not either release payment to the seller or list the items on eBay unless this test runs without errors.

Ebay sellers – if ebayers warn item is fake, take note.

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If you have listed an item and ebayers tell you it is fake please pay attention. There are a lot of knowlegable ebayers out there – victims of fake flash themselves. They may be either sellers who bought from dishonest Chinese companies or end users who bought on Ebay and learned a lesson the hard way. They know what they are talking about and seldom if ever get it wrong. You should immediately end your listing and check your item. The easiest way is with h2testw – if it’s a large capacity drive a test involving the first 20GB should be enough to show it is fake. If your drive comes in packaging like the ones below it is certainly fake – in fact at these capacities there are no drives that look like these anyway!
sonyhighcapfake
See the page How to tell whether a USB flash drive to see the only real 32GB and 64GB Kingston – everything else is fake. Also see posts about fake Kingston for info about lower capacity fake Kingston.

SOSFakeFlash Releases List Of Genuine eBay Sellers For MP Players – Usb Flash Drives – Memory Cards

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SOSFakeFlash at the request of victims who bought False Capacity MP Players, Memory Cards and USB Flash Drives has just released a list of Safe Sellers on eBay. Sellers who sell true capacity items and stand behind their products!

See Safe Ebay Sellers For USB Flash Drives – MP Players – Memory Cards – Genuine Capacity/

This is a new program lauched by the FrankenFlash Project. eBay members may nomiate sellers. eBay sellers may apply. The list is dynamic and will be updated. A similar program will be launched for internet sites soon.

Read the rest of this entry »

Victim seller of counterfeit fake capacity 64GB reports it to Sony

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A seller, who thought he was selling genuine Sony drives but discovered (after selling a number of them) that they were fake, has been in contact with Sony. He bought them on a site called dhgate.com which seems to operate in a similar way to eBay. He has kindly provided a copy of his correspondence with Sony for your information. He sent this email to Sony:
Hi
I have recently fallen victim to the fake ‘Sony’ 64GB USB Drives scam and thought i would report when i have purchased the items from so you may be able to take some action. They were from a chinese web-site called www.dhgate.com
A number of the drives are widely available in various sizes, obviously all fakes.
I’m not sure if you can take action given it is based in China, but i thought i would let you know anyway.
Thank you

Sony responded as follows: Sony Japan are aware of the problem

The seller is now pursuing a refund from the sellers zhenhao9588 and chengxang188 whom he bought from on dhgate.com. His report of fakes on dhgate.com is not the only one we have had. Sellers beware of buying flash drives from this site, it appears there are many fakes on sale here and on other sites, notably alibaba.com.

Tell-tale signs on packaging of fake Sony flash memory on eBay

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When fraudsters make packaging for their fake Sony memory they tend to make mistakes like putting G instead of GB on the packaging for USB flash drives – such as in the picture below.
electronicshop
Another clue that the flash drive pictured is a fake is the fact that Sony have never made 32GB, 64GB or higher capacity drive like this! Always check Sony’s website to see whether the item you are interested in even exists before considering a purchase.
You can simply place your cursor over this link to a Youtube video and click the play button in the little window to see this video by an ebayer talking about some tell tale signs on the packaging of a 4GB Sony Pro Duo memory stick.

Written by fightflashfraud

February 13, 2009 at 1:56 PM

USB Flash Drives On eBay Fakes 8GB 16GB 32GB – A Buyer And A Seller Speak On The Subject – Videos

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The problem of fake flash usb pendrives on eBay is an epidemic – often referred to as a plague. It kills data. Sold by unscrupulous ebay sellers these false capacity drives have caused so much harm to eBay members. It’s not just about money. It is the files – gone forever!
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Written by KittyFireFlash

February 13, 2009 at 5:19 AM

Don’t trust the operating system on flash drive capacity

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Did some idiot tell you your lovely new flash drive is a fake but you know it isn’t because the operating system tells you it is exactly the advertised size? Not only that but you put some files on it and it works?
You just bought a shiny new 16GB flash drive on Ebay or elsewhere on the Internet, waited with anticipation for it to arrive – and when you stuck it in the computer and looked at the properties this is what you saw:
properties
The only thing the properties box shows is what the operating system “thinks” the size is. This is not the same thing as showing the TRUE capacity of a drive!
Read the rest of this entry »

Written by fightflashfraud

February 12, 2009 at 10:37 PM

eBay Victim Reveals His Views And Personal Buying Experience On Ebay For Fake Flash (False Capacity) USB Pendrives Drives

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Since 2003 eBay has been a serious source for acquiring false capacity mp players, usb flash drives and memory cards on a global scale.

SOSFakeFlash has traced distribution to 53 different countries in only nine months of investigation. There is no safe eBay Country to buy from. Not one country. Every eBay country suffers from the same fake flash plague. It is everywhere!

Victims of fake flash device purchases on eBay learn the sad truth about eBay’s attitude and the sham for “Buyer Protection” offered by PayPal. So many never got a refund. Less of an issue now. But over the years so many buyers, not only lost data, they lost money too.

If you are getting or got a refund, you should thank victims who fought for you in the last 9 months. Many drove Paypal insane. Paypal in return, drove these victims crazy and wore victim typing fingers to little stubs. So many, after all that effort, got nothing. No refund. What they did succeed in doing is make it more difficult for both eBay and PayPal to continue ignoring the situation!

One ebay member, whom we will call FlashAtom asked if he could share his views and experience with you. We are interested in your opinions and thoughs on what he has to say.

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Never Accept Operating System Report Of Size – Beware On eBay 16GB 32GB 64GB

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Buyers of usb flash drives need to test with H2testw 1.4 . Never believe in the advertised capacity, even if a seller presents a screen capture of the size as seen by the operating system. Fake and Counterfeit USB flash drives have been digitally altered to “lie” about their true capacity.You can not trust what you see in operating size. You should not believe that a usb flash drive will be of genuine capacity just because a seller presents a screen capture of the size seen. The only way to be sure is to test your drive with a software such as H2testw 1.4 You should never store any data on any usb flash drive until you have tested to make sure you have the advertised capacity. It could save you from data loss and it will give you peace of mind.

A perfect example of how you can fall into the fake flash pit is the recent case of eBay Seller Guruelectronics. SOSFakeFlash has known about this seller for months, but without evidence little could be done. guruelectronics presented operating system size as proof the drives being sold were good. The reality is that he only showed what the operating system saw and as we all know fakes are reprogrammed to lie about their real capacity. The drive was presented with sexy reassurance and of course, free shipping!

If you bought this drive or one that looks like it, on eBay, the internet or even at a local store do not use it to store data without testing with H2testw 1.4 to ensure the advertised capacity matches actual capacity!
This drive typically has a 2GB flash chip. Do not attempt to repair this drive by opening it to find the controller chip or flash drive serial. The circuit board is glued with epoxy to hold it to the bottom casing. If you seperate the bottom to see the flash chip, the drive will in future wiggle and slide in the casing.

Under no circumstances should you accept any excuses from guruelectronics or any other seller about this flash usb drive being “defective“. A digitally altered flash drive is not defective, it has been reprogrammed to lie about it’s true size – guruelectronics attempted convince customers usb flash drives being sold were of the correct size. Do not allow yourself to be convinced by any seller who shows you what the operating system might see.

Written by KittyFireFlash

February 9, 2009 at 2:03 PM

Ebay Fake Flash Sellers Alert India – A Mystery In New Delhi

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Our story of counterfeit Kingston Flash USB drives begins in New Delhi, India. The famous lime DataTraveler at 2GB is being sold in magical sizes – from 16 GB to strange 40GB and even 80GB advertised capacities on eBay. These Sellers are trying disclaim the quality of goods by saying they are Chinese products and so can not take any responsibility. Most Kingston DataTravelers ARE MANUFACTURED IN CHINA, so how is it that major relate outlets around the world do not have dissatisfied customers storming their doors? Some of the most advanced and sophisticated technologies at reasonable prices are being manufactured in China. This is the 21st century, the “made in China” excuse does not hold water – for many Brand Name products.

Join SOSFakeFlash on an exploration of just how widespread counterfeit and fake flash usb drives are on ebay.

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Warning KINGSTON DataTraveler 100 USB Flash Drive 128GB Appearing For Sale On The Internet – A Guide

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Please Check Kingston’s Official Site for the flash USB drives currently offered. They do not offer any KINGSTON DataTraveler 100 USB Flash Drive with a capacity of 128GB. The highest capacity appears to be 64GB.

Reported to SOSFakeFlash, we have documented some of the sources for these 128GB USB Flash Drives that are stealing the Kingston Name for counterfeiting and selling false capacity usb flash drives. You will find useful information to help you learn and spot the fakes – what you can to to find a genuine Kingston USB Flash Drive on the internet.

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Written by KittyFireFlash

January 25, 2009 at 4:26 AM

What Do eBay Fake Flash Sellers jinyu_zheng, dai_xinyu, zhujunpeibay Have In Common?

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jinyu_zheng, dai_xinyu, zhujunpeibay are all documented and investigated eBay Fake Flash Sellers. What do these sellers have in common? Are you interested? Curious? This article is not going to be pleasant for some to read.

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Written by KittyFireFlash

January 22, 2009 at 4:46 AM

eBay Private Auction Listings – eBay Fake Flash Sellers Prefer – Victims Learn The Meaning The Hard Way – A Guide

eBay sellers of fake flash MP Players, memory cards and usb flash drives prefer private auction listings. They avoid detection the longest, make antonishing profit and create the longest list of victims who will be made obsured by this listing category. Sellers who use this listing type are not found only in the Orient, you will find them everywhere including in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Europe. Some begin selling this way, others resort to this listing type when negative feedback starts to come in revealing the truth about what they are selling.

SOSFakeFlash has been warning about this for a long time. It is even in the eBayer’s guide written by ebayers sent to victims needing help.

Exactly what is a Private Auction listing? Why is it so deadly? What did eBay intend for such listings? How is it being abused? Every eBayer should read this guide, even if they did not buy a flash device. If you want a safe buying experience on eBay, don’t expect eBay to educate you or PayPal. To become eBay smart you have to look elsewhere. The bottom line for these companies is sales not your protection. Fake flash victims or those interested in buying any flash devices on eBay should read it too. The first step in protecting yourself from a purchase you may regret. Learn why private auctions can be so deadly.

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How people get away with flash fraud on ebay

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The flash memory sold by ebay fraudsters generally has a very much lower capacity than stated – sometimes as little as a sixteenth of that advertised. These drives have been programmed using the same tools as the manufactures use to program drives of genuine capacity. 1GB of flash memory can be programmed by fraudsters to appear to be 4GB, 8GB, 16GB or even higher capacities using these tools.

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Written by fightflashfraud

December 26, 2008 at 10:14 PM

Fake flash drives

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What to people mean by fake flash drives?

When people talk about fake flash drives they usually mean a drive that reports itself as a higher capacity than it is.  This is not the same as a counterfeit. A counterfeit is something that is pretending to be a brand. The problem is not the same. Something that is counterfeit may in fact be quite servicable – for example a counterfeit Gucci handbag could still be a perfectly functional handbag – it’s just not a real Gucci.

However, a flash drive that says it’s 8GB but is really only 1GB will cause all data over about 970mb to be lost/corrupt. For someone like me this could be an absolute disaster. I bought flash drives on ebay sold as being 8GB, 16GB and 32GB to use with students on a video course. Had I tried to move a 4GB video file from a camera to any of these drives for students to edit, all the hard work they had put into the filming would have been lost. Although both the counterfeit Gucci handbag and the fake capacity flash are fraud; to my mind fake flash is a much more serious issue than the counterfeit Gucci handbag – yet much less is done to stop it. See the page what is a counterfeit? for more.

Written by fightflashfraud

November 24, 2008 at 4:22 PM

Fake capacity flash drives

Fraudesters program the control chip of low capacity flash drives to report the drive as having a much higher capacity drive than it actually is. Many flash drives sold on Ebay especially from Hong Kong /China have had this treatment. Drives that are seen by the operating system as being 16GB can have a true capacity as low as 1 or 2GB. These are mostly unbranded drives. The big issue is not so much the fact that the fraudsters are getting money by deception by doing this but that if you use these drives but you will eventually end up with lost/corrupted files. If this has been done with a drive that shows a brand name then it is a counterfeit. So how do you find the true capacity of a drive that you bought? With the free program h2testw!

Written by fightflashfraud

November 24, 2008 at 4:01 PM

h2testw – Gold standard in detecting fake capacity flash

The free program h2testw has proved its worth in detecting flash drives which have been programmed to miss-report capacity (what we now call frankenflash). We give H2testw 1.4 the highest rating and recommend it for testing fraudulently programmed USB Flash Drives for the following reasons:

  1. Easy to Use
  2. Tested to work on 1.1 and 2.0 USB Ports
  3. Tested to work to analyze drives advertised as 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB and yes …64 GB capacity.
  4. Reports what the operating system sees size to be.
  5. Will write 1 GB files up to the reported size – requiring no work on your part except patience if it is a large drive and a slow computer
  6. Will read all the files it wrote and verify them
  7. Will report that the test ran without problems if all is well
  8. Will produce a detailed report showing the true capacity, how much data has been lost/corrupted and whether there are aliased memory addresses if problems are found.
  9. Output results can easily be copied and pasted into notepad to be saved as a text file.
  10. The program is free

The readme.txt file provides:

  • Explanation of the program and what it does for general computer users
  • Information on how to interpret the results
  • Technical information for those who have a deeper understanding of data storage and file writing and for the skeptics out there.

It has been invaluable to those who (like me) now test all flash they buy (wherever from) to avoid potential data loss arising from use of a falsely programmed device. You can download this free program here:

download h2testw by Harald Bögeholz published by c’t magazine for computer technology

Save the downloaded zip file to your desktop an run the exe file in the folder to install the program on your computer. To test your flash launch the program, select your language (German or English) and select the target drive.

The program will fill your device with numbers and letters in 1000Mb lots and then try to read it back . If your device works as claimed it will tell you that the test ran without problems and you can delete the test files. If not you will get a detailed report.

The results from H2testw have been verified on drives detected as fakes. How?

  1. Drives were dissembled
  2. Controller chips were identified
  3. Flash chips were identified
  4. Searches on the actual flash drives using their identification number revealed their true capacity. These matched the output from the H2testw Program.

In a few cases, when drives were disassembled, epoxy glue removed holding the flash drive to the bottom casing, quality control stickers were found with a size circled. The size? Exactly what H2testw reported as the capacity it could write to. All drives autopsied for investigation and validation of this program were purchased on eBay.

No other program that can match these features has been found. Therefore, H2testw has been adopted as the gold standard in detection of flash that reports a false capacity to the operating system.

However – this program is windows only. 

A word to the terrified:
We fully understand the caution people feel about downloading things from the web, the blog authors are also very cautious about this. For anyone who is worried about following the link please be assured that the download page is on the website of a reputable german computer magazine.

The program was written by Harald Bögeholz (who works for the magazine) after they found that the flash drives they gave away a couple of years back were actually fake! The program was originally written for their readers to make up for the mistake. You can follow the link with confidence – or (if you prefer) you can search for the page with google – but for goodness sake if you buy flash memory get the program h2testw!

UPDATE AUGUST 2010: Michel Machado has developed a program for linux users called F3 (after Fight Flash Fraud – how nice!) but reports from those who have used it are a bit inconclusive as to how user-friendly it is if you aren’t very technical. If you want to give it a go you can download F3 here – let us know how you get on if you try this!

UPDATE SEPT 2010: Another Linux programmer has started work on an alternative solution but we don’t know how far he has got yet.