Kingston Technologies Offers Help To eBay Victims Frauded With Counterfeit Flash Memory
One of the most difficult problems facing eBay members purchasing fake flash memory is proving the item(s) are false capacity and if branded – Counterfeit. If a buyer claims the item is counterfeit, eBay frequently demands the buyer prove it. SOSFakeFlash received an interesting story from one buyer and how Kingston Technologies was willing to help out. His story is documented here.
Testing with h2testw reveals the real capacity of flash memory chips. If the storage chip is sound, h2testw gives a good report – the flash storage memory is good to use. If there are issues, this programme detects them. If the capacity is not the advertised size, it will report it’s real size.
Kingston Technologies, uses a number of different methods to protect their products against counterfeiting. Two of the most important are engraving usb connector tips for usb flash drives and serial numbers on all their products.
Kingston Technologies is a highly respected brand name for flash memory products with a long reputation for quality and durability of their flash memory products. They put flash memory chips through many quality tests. It is a successive cut, if chips do not pass the first test, they are discarded. If they don’t pass the second test they are discarded. Only the best chips make it through the quality process. This is important. These flash memory chips will store your files, data or photos – things that are important to you.
The quality that makes Kingston flash memory so famous is also the reason this brand name is counterfeited.
In the last two years it has become the major target for counterfeiters. The FrankenFlash project is not aware of any Kingston “counterfeit” delivering the advertised capacity, not one. So far every counterfeit reported has used upgraded flash memory. Upgrading flash memory means a special software programme is used to digitally alter the reported size to operating systems and cameras. Upgraded memory lies. Most counterfeits of Kingston usb flash drives or memory cards pay attention to appearance, little is given to the flash memory chips used – most are Grade D, the worst kind of all.
Kingston DT150, DT200, DT300 and DT310 usb flash drives and almost all SDHC Secure Digital Memory Cards are currently being counterfeited. The source of acquisition for resellers? Internet wholesaling sites in China. The majority of buyers acquire them through eBay purchases.
Kingston continues to pressure eBay to remove fraudulent listings. Sites such as FakeMemorySentinel, SOSFakeFlash and FakeFlashNews continue to expose fraudulent sellers for Kingston flash memory. Along with FlashDriveFacts they try to educate consumers and potential resellers to avoid buying counterfeit Kingston products.
Once an eBay buyer discovers they have accidentally purchased a fake Kingston memory card or usb flash drive on eBay they file a claim to get a refund. Sometimes eBay refunds them immediately but most often they do not. Instead they insist the buyer prove they have a Kingston counterfeit – first. This used to be very difficult to do, but since FrankenFlash project sites began providing information, consumers are contacting Kingston technical support for help.
Often both SOSFakeFlash and FakeMemorySentinel publish an information package of articles victims can read on their alerts. It helps educate consumers in a hurry.
Kingston Technical support sites around the world are receiving calls from buyers frauded with Kingston counterfeits.
Victims report Kingston’s technical staff is helpful and sympathetic. Kingston’s automated validation tool sends emails to buyers confirming if they bought a counterfeit item based on serial number and product. Recently, given how difficult eBay is making it for buyers to claim against fraudulent Kingston items listed, Kingston Technical support has offered to send a letter to the eBay member.
Yes, Kingston has been stepping in, to be the third party validator about items being counterfeit.
Here is an interesting story about one eBay Victim’s recent purchase of a Kingston Class 6 SDHC Memory Card advertised as 100% Real 32GB Memory.
Hi, I recently purchased a Kingston 32gb SDHC on eBay.
When I received the item, I found it did not work properly.
I eventually found the “h2testw” software on the internet and ran a diagnostic. The results showed the item was defective.
Warning: Only 29922 of 31970 MByte tested.
The media is likely to be defective.
900.6 MByte OK (1844551 sectors)
28.3 GByte DATA LOST (59435705 sectors)
Details:512 KByte overwritten (1024 sectors)
13.5 KByte slightly changed (< 8 bit/sector, 27 sectors)
28.3 GByte corrupted (59434654 sectors)
512 KByte aliased memory (1024 sectors)
First error at offset: 0x0000000000000000
H2testw version 1.3
Writing speed: 3.89 MByte/s
Reading speed: 3.34 MByte/s
I was suspicious of the SDHC card, so I called Kingston directly and they confirmed that the serial number (or lack thereof) indicated the card appears to be counterfeit.
The seller offered an immediate refund if I return the item to him, and it appears that he may not have known the item was counterfeit.
Upon receipt of the item, I was immediately suspicious because the auction detail specified the condition as “new” which means unopened, but the package clearly was opened. Also, there were no serial numbers as one would expect. My own troubleshooting failed to reveal a properly-functioning product, and then I found the diagnostic software H2testw, which confirmed that the card was defective. When I reported to the seller that the item was defective, he immediately offered to give a refund if I send the item back.
Before I sent it back, I did more research and found that the item appeared to be counterfeit. I called Kingston directly and they confirmed that the item appeared to be counterfeit and they offered to have a tech write a letter if I needed it to get a refund. I filed a claim with eBay, identifying that the item was counterfeit. The seller again agreed to provide a refund if I send the item back. His response also indicated that he may be an unwitting participant at the hands of a third party who sold him the alleged counterfeit item. His response indicated he had no knowledge that the item was counterfeit:
“Hello, I am so sorry to heard that. I bought these cards from a overseas distributor and now I found that some of these are not authentic. I going to open a case thru Paypal against the distributor and I need the card to send it back to him for a refund. Please send the card back to us thru regular mail in its original package and after receive it we will be happy to issue you a full refund of your money. My apologies. My best regards.”
SOSFakeFlash researched the listing:
The seller advertised the memory card as 100% Real 32GB Memory Kingston Class 6 SDHC Memory Card. He also states that each card is tested before shipping. If each card was tested as mentioned in the listing, then the seller would have found out the cards did not deliver the advertised capacity.
But there is more, before sending the item back, the buyer photographed everything.
Back of packaging
This item is not made in Class 6 and only up to a capacity of 8GB, not 32GB. The real Kingston 8GB Secure Digital High-Capacity (SDHC) Flash Card Model SD4/8GB in class 4.
This is the fake.
The serial information is missing.
The genuine 32GB Secure Digital High Capacity Ultimate – Class 6 – Part Number: SD6/32GB-U looks like this:
Kingston DT200 Offers New Capacity – 1TB USB Flash Memory Stick. The Biggest Capacity For A USB Flash Drive Is Available From aliexpress.com. Wholesale Cost For DT200 Is Not Expensive, It Is Cheap. Profit From Selling Upgraded Flash Memory.