Fighting flash fraud on Ebay

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

Archive for the ‘Testing’ Category

More blog visitors now download h2testw to check for fake or faulty flash memory

We are very pleased to note that a higher proportion of visitors to this blog now download the free test program h2testw – however we think that there are still vistors who who don’t yet have this program and don’t follow the links to the download. BIG MISTAKE! If you don’t have h2testw yet we advise you to get it now!!!

The free program h2testw is an invaluable tool for anyone wh uses flash memory items (USB flash drives, memory cards, MP players etc) – if your flash drive, memory card etc fails this test then it is either fake or faulty. Do not use it!!

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.

Written by fightflashfraud

January 19, 2011 at 11:40 PM

Test 32GB micro SD cards purchased on ebay from all_star90 now!

If you are one of the 18 ebayers who bought this micro SD card on ebay from seller all_star90 you are strongly advised to test your card immediately as we have reason to think it is a fake capacity counterfeit that corrupts 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.

Written by fightflashfraud

January 11, 2011 at 10:36 PM

Bought a memory card or flash drive on ebay? Test with h2testw!

Most flash memory items sold on ebay are fakes from China. Anyone using a fake capacity USB flash drive, memory card etc will find that it corrupts files after a time – when the real capacity of the flash memory is exceeded. This usually happens when you have saved 4GB of data (or less) to the device.

Fake flash memory items have sometimes been sold in reputable high street stores and even given as gifts with computer magazines! We strongly advise everyone who uses flash memory items (USB flash drives, memory cards, MP players etc) to test them with the free program h2testw irrespective of where they were purchased – otherwise you run the risk of data loss and corruption.

If you don’t want to risk losing your college work, photos, videos, music or whatever you are using flash memory for – arm yourself with h2testw! Far too few people who visit this blog actually go to the download site – very foolish.

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

Written by fightflashfraud

January 6, 2011 at 9:57 PM

Posted in fake flash, Testing

fraudsters make false claims about viruses in h2testw – do not be fooled!

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Do not be fooled by claims from fake flash sellers (such as emerald48s on ebay who sold very obvious fake Kingston flash drives) who make claims about the program h2testw having viruses or trojans and make accusations against buyers who found out they got a fake and left well deserved negative comments. Here is a screenshot of some feedback for emerald48s:

Have a look at our article about emerald48s and then check the Kingston website – you can judge for yourself whether we, or emerald48s and other fraudulent sellers, tell the truth!

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.

Do not be misled by fraudulent sellers who make false claims about the free program h2testw having viruses or trojans and try to intimidate buyers who report they got a fake they tested with this entirely reliable program. The download for this program comes courtesy of the German computer magazine the program’s author works for. The program h2testw contains no virus files “broken” or otherwise – what the hell is a broken virus file anyway??

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

If 128GB DT200 flash drive from ebayer gml3303 is genuine seller risks loss

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If this 128GB Kingston DataTraveler 200 flash drive from gml3303 is genuine this seller risks making a loss by auctioning it on ebay. The buyer can check whether or not a Kingston flash drive is genuine quite easily – here are the steps:

  1. Look at the back of the pack – is there a serial number?
  2. If there is no serial number (there should be a label showing this) then it is sure to be a fake capacity counterfeit that corrupts files – but the presence of a serial number does not, in itself, gaurantee it is genuine.

  3. Look at the USB connector – is there engraving on it giving details about the flash drive?
  4. If there is no engraving you can be sure it is a counterfeit that will trash your files – but again, the presence of engraving does not in itself gaurantee it is genuine.

  5. If both a serial number and engraving are present try verifying the serial number with Kingston.
  6. If Kingston cannot verify the serial number then you have a fake capacity counterfeit and your data will become lost or corrupted after a while.

If you bought a second hand flash drive that does not have the packaging the only thing you can do other than checking for engraving is to test the drive. There is no need to test the whole drive – most counterfeits have a real capacity of 4GB or less so testing up to 8GB should be sufficient to determine whether it is genuine or not.

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.

32GB Kingston flash drives on ebay from k_industrial unlikely to be genuine

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We think the 32GB Kingston DataTraveler 200 flash drives listed on ebay by k_industrial are very unlikely to be genuine – the price in buy it now listings seems a bit too cheap and buyers could win them at auction at an even lower price. We think that k_industrial bought from one of the many fraudulent outlets selling fake capacity counterfeits. If we are right then buyers will find that their USB flash drive corrupts files after a while.

Buyers can check whether or not a Kingston flash drive is genuine quite easily – here are the steps:

  1. Look at the back of the pack – is there a serial number?
  2. If there is no serial number (there should be a label showing this) then it is sure to be a fake capacity counterfeit that corrupts files – but the presence of a serial number does not, in itself, gaurantee it is genuine.

  3. Look at the USB connector – is there engraving on it giving details about the flash drive?
  4. If there is no engraving you can be sure it is a counterfeit that will trash your files – but again, the presence of engraving does not in itself gaurantee it is genuine.

  5. If both a serial number and engraving are present try verifying the serial number with Kingston.
  6. If Kingston cannot verify the serial number then you have a fake capacity counterfeit and your data will become lost or corrupted after a while.

If you bought a second hand flash drive that does not have the packaging the only thing you can do other than checking for engraving is to test the drive. There is no need to test the whole drive – most counterfeits have a real capacity of 4GB or less so testing up to 8GB should be sufficient to determine whether it is genuine or not.

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.

If 16GB Sandisk flash drive is genuine ebayer warjar1840 may make a loss

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If this Sandisk flash drive is genuine then warjar1840 risks making a loss by auctioning it on ebay – that said, it seems that this seller lists everything at auction with a start price of 99p. Given that fact, maybe this USB flash drive is genuine – if so, perhaps someone will get a bargain!

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.

Written by fightflashfraud

September 4, 2010 at 3:55 PM

Suspect an ebayer is selling fake flash drives, memory cards or MP players?

Fake flash memory is rife on ebay – if you suspect (or know) that someone is selling fake memory items (flash drives, MP player or memory cards) enter the seller ID in the search box in the right hand column. If nothing comes up then click on the Report suspect ebay sellers link near the top of the right hand column and give us the details requested. We will then investigate and, if we think you are right, we will publish an article.

If you bought from a seller mentioned on this blog test your item with the free program h2testw immediately – 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.

Are HP flash drives sold on ebay by lmc059 genuine or counterfeit?

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A number of 8GB and 16GB HP flash drives have been sold at auction on ebay by lmc059 and it appears that the seller may have made a loss on about half the listings if the flash drives are genuine. This makes us wonder whether these might be fake capacity counterfeits purchased from a fraudulent wholesale outlet.

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.

Test flash drives bought on ebay from talat1804 with h2testw

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If you bought a flash drive from talat1804 you are advised to test immediately with the free program h2testw as we have a feeling this seller bought them from a fraudulent wholesale outlet. If we are right the flash drives in this private ebay listing are fake capacity which corrupts 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.

Test flash drives bought on ebay from t.saddiq with h2testw

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The 32GB USB flash drives in this ebay listing from t.saddiq seem a bit too cheap. We suspect they may have come from a fraudulent supplier selling fake capacity flash drives. A fake capacity flash drive corrupts files. If you bought one of these from t.saddiq you are advised to test it immediately.

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.

Did you buy a Sandisk micro SD card from fashionuniononline?

with 3 comments

An ebay member has reported that this 2GB SanDisk micro SD memory card from ebay seller fashionuniononline failed testing with h2testw. It seems to be defective rather than fake capacity, but as 500 of these have been sold from the listing shown above (item number 370185149553) it is likely that there are other ebayers who got defective cards.

There is one thing we find rather odd – the buyer who reported in tells us that although the location given for the seller is given as Leeds, United Kingdom the return address shown on the envelope is a Post Office Box in Ipswitch. In feedback some buyers said fashionuniononline is not a UK seller and the fact that the seller’s name seems to be Feng Ping tends to support this suggestion. It seems that quite a few people have had problems with memory cards from this seller.

We strongly advise anyone who bought flash memory items from fashionuniononline to test them immediately with the free program h2testw as defective flash memory can cause data loss.

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

Written by fightflashfraud

April 12, 2010 at 12:40 PM

WE NEED YOUR HELP FOLKS!

If we are to continue the fight against the continuing supply of fake flash memory items on ebay that corrupt your files then we need the help of every ebay member that fell victim to this fraud.

The steps you need to take:

1)Test your item with h2testw
2) If the item fails testing, leave the seller a negative comment – something like:
Fake flash (tested with h2testw) google h2testw fightflashfraud 4 free prog
3) email all the information needed for your info to go into the ebay fraud database
4) Open a paypal dispute and claim a refund from the seller
5) Warn other buyers who bought the same item as you and tell them about this blog

You can not leave a comment on this.

Written by fightflashfraud

January 26, 2010 at 9:37 PM

Another ebay gremlin with fake 64GB USB flash drives

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prretyboy

Real 64GB USB flash drives cost more to make than prretyboy has sold them for. The model above is familiar to the fightflashfraud team – lots of gremlins have sold these in fake capacities. These will be fake capacity too – at this price they can’t be anything else! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by fightflashfraud

November 1, 2009 at 5:11 AM

A rather strange case with the fraudsters’ favourite flash drive

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sales-producer2

The case of sales-producer is rather unusual. This model of USB flash drive is a favourite with fraudsters in the far east for reprogramming to fake capacities. Mostly the true capacity is below 2GB, but sometimes (when they are sold as 32GB or 64GB) they have a true capacity of 4GB.

This seller advertises them as 4GB and we think this may have been their original capacity. However, a member of the frankenflash project has received two of these from sales-producer and both failed testing with h2testw.

One failed at just over 3GB and the other at just under 3GB. We wonder if this could be a result of them previously been re-programmed to fake capacities. Reprogramming of low quality flash memory can cause progressively worse failure each time the memory is programmmed to a new capacity.

We suspect this may be the case with these 4GB flash drives sold by sales-producer. In some ways this could be almost more dangerous than an outright fake as users are not likely to run into problems for months!

We strongly advise ebayers not to purchase this model of flash drive from any seller whatsoever. We have never found one of these that passed testing with h2testw. Eventually anyone using a flash memory item that fails this test will run into problems such as lost and/or corrupted 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 in to SOSFakeFlash if your testing confirms you have purchased a false capacity device on ebay.

Written by fightflashfraud

September 8, 2009 at 8:29 PM

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

Selling flash memory on Ebay. Test your items!

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We at fightflashfraud strongly advise any ebayer planning to sell a flash memory item such as a memory card, MP3 or MP4 player, USB flash drive etc to test the item with h2testw BEFORE YOU LIST IT – otherwise you may find yourself out of pocket when you find out too late that your items were fake. You are then in the position of having lost money on listing fees, post and packing etc when you refund buyers as well the money you wasted on buying fakes! Everyone should learn to test all flash items they buy with h2testw immediately they arrive!

Written by fightflashfraud

February 7, 2009 at 1:49 PM

Suspect sellers on ebay

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All those selling flash drives on ebay with listing which keep buyer IDs private at the end of auctions or when an item is sold on buy it now are automatically considered to be suspect sellers by fightflashfraud. SOME SELLERS LISTED UNDER THE SUSPECT CATEGORY MAY ACUALLY BE INNOCENT OF FRAUD
They may have innocently bought counterfeit and/or fake capacity drives from a supplier. Both fightflashfraud and sosfakeflash have come across this situation. However, those who keep buyer IDs private are fairly certain to be guilty. See the page about suspect sellers for more info.

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.