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Picture of Don't fall for the Flash Drive Scam!
Hey Guys- I recently became aware of a major scam on eBay. Hackers in China are selling flash drives with less memory than they advertise. Users like PikesPeakTraders sell thousands of 'hacked' flash drives from China. The problem is that the hackers change a log file that makes the flash drive think it has more memory than it does. When you receive the drive, if you right click and go to properties it will display a larger amount of memory than it really has- so when you put data on it that exceeds it's actual memory, old data will be deleted.

This problem is nearly impossibly for the average Joe to detect because the flash drive looks and works normally- until it's memory is filled.

Here's how to protect yourself from this scam:
 
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Step 1: How To Buy

Picture of How To Buy
So you want to get a nice, high capacity flash drive for a friend for the holidays. Here are a few cardinal rules to follow to avoid getting scammed:
(if you've already bought an unbranded flash drive online, skip to the next step)

1) Buy a brand name flash drive
-Most brands are reliable in terms of storage. Most unbranded drives aren't

2) Know your product
-I was naive enough to think that many companies (including unbranded ones) are producing 16GB flash drives- I could be wrong, but I believe the only company selling one of that size is Corsair. This goes for any size...

3) Look on the packaging
-If the buyer shows a picture of the packaging, see whether the storage is printed directly onto the packaging, or if there's a sticker on it that has it. If it's printed on, it's more likely not to be a scam as that means the company probably hasn't tampered with it

4) AVOID BUYING FROM EBAY!
-Ebay has been seemingly overrun by scam artists selling falsely listed items- avoid buying anything that's not a well-known brand name from Ebay at all costs!

Step 2: When it arrives...

Picture of When it arrives...
cmd2.jpg
Once you've bought your flash drive, and it ships to you, it's a good idea to run a program that will test it's true memory capacity. Here's how:

1) Plug flash drive into computer and make sure it initializes normally
2) Download testdrive.exe and drag it into your C drive
3) Go to Start -> Run -> Type in 'cmd'
4) Note the drive letter that represents your flash drive and type 'c:\testdrive.exe (LETTER OF DRIVE HERE)' WITHOUT the brackets or quotes
5) Hit enter- the program will check how much space the drive thinks it has, and then attempt to fill that space.

If the program runs fine, congratulations! You have a normal working flash drive! However, if you get an error like the one in picture 2 below, the drive is falsely reporting it's space usage- return it and get a refund as soon as possible.

Step 3: Disputing with the seller

If you're having trouble returning the product and you used Ebay, report the seller. Additionally, if they use SquareTrade, you can start a 'dispute' with the seller.

If you bought it from another website, you may have a harder time getting a refund... I might recommend reporting the business to bbb.org (the Better Business Bureau) -they may be able to resolve the problems for you.

Thanks for reading- if you have any questions or comments, don't hesitate to post!
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DanielB763 days ago
zorro33557 years ago
haha this is even funnier.darn scammers!
no usb.jpg
Did the scammers really just put a usb cord inside nothing else?
Lol lol lol that's funny. I wish you could favourite comments.
You can. Get zachninme's comment script for greasemonkey.
You can't favorite them though.
Stalker much? :P Yeah that's true, you can't really favorite comments, although you can rate them with zach's script.
i already said that i found it on the internet so it's not mine
Is that actually yours, or did you find a picture of it?
lol is this real?
That cracks me up. ROACLSHMBH!
It must be chinese.
common man .i a chinese too...
Too bad he wasn't joking or it might have been funny. Damn those people who say funny things but mean them in a mean serious way.
I have no problems with Chinese Americans but those governmental bigshots and manufacturer CEOs Chinese give it a bad name and also all those people pirating costing billions of dollars and the companies that make fake lower quality american products and sell them for the same prices and the Chinese military the drug dealers the american companies that go overseas for workers who get paids 11c a day costing millions of jobs back home the list goes on and on.... BTW thats not a flashdrive thats one of those USB WiFi connectors.
lager zorro33556 years ago
Lol! that was sad xD
ha ha
Derin zorro33557 years ago
WOW LOL
did u make that or buy it from china?
na found this on the internet
wow...
Presman7 years ago
I got Frauded by pikepeaktraders too. My 16GB drive only holds 1.9GB before it starts corrupting data. This is dangerous because you think your saving data but it is really corrupt. Keep in mind the drive are hacked so acts like it is 16GB so you won't know until it is tested. (Just wanted to reiterate)The testdrive.exe isn't downloading properly, here is on ebay is a test bat file and instructions http://reviews.ebay.com/HOW-TO-TEST-FOR-FAKE-USB-DRIVE_W0QQugidZ10000000003664934

I know it has been more than 3 years since you posted the link, but thank you very much Presman. It helped me on checking my flash drive, I thought it was fake, but it is real! I guess eBay has a few honest sellers.
Mrlunna13
You speak my language. There are honest sellers. You can get a 128 GB micro sd card with sd card adapter for 15 bucks. Legit. Don't know about how good the speed or lasting is as it is one of two but it is legit 128 GB drive. LOTS OF SPACE YAH.
just change file from XXXXXXXXXXXXXX.tmp to testdrive.exe it is like that because you usually cant put .bat, .exe, and others on the internet. ive downloaded from instructables before, and its always like that.
bbmak7 years ago
Wow Thank you so much. Currently, I am thinking about buy a 64G usb drive from ebay. I will reconsider about it before buying it.
eLeet (author)  bbmak7 years ago
No problem- I'd definitely reconsider it... Remember the rule of thumb in life- if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is ;)
collard41 eLeet6 years ago
32gb are fakes, so 64 is 100% fake
Only if you arew going to the wrong brands. Go to the correct brands and they will be those sizes with good quality.
I own a 32 GB flash drive from micro center...it is completely legit and I'm thinking about buying their 64 GB version. Large size flash drives have been around for a little while now, but were just to expensive.
Derin collard416 years ago
transcend makes 32 gig flash memory
eLeet (author)  Derin6 years ago
There actually is a 64gb model out and has been for several months- it just happens to cost a few grand :)
collard41 eLeet6 years ago
Toshiba Have a 128Gb hard drive, solid state, but this isnt a pen drive. it is for laptops like the macbook air.
wizard722 eLeet6 years ago
In this case it is more like the rule of thumb...drives...
ashannon1 bbmak3 years ago
you might want to invest in a 1 terabyte external harddrive from an electronics store, or Walmart, get sea-gate, or something simaler. somthing with a lifetime warranty. much more space than 64 gigs(936 gigs more), and it will be pretty much guaranteed to have that said amount, of space, if not, return it and get a different brand.
Man it really sux that this wont work with windows 7...i ave an ATP Tough Drive that is really a 4 gb drive and properties is only showing that it has 1.89 gb available...it should really be 3.89 gb available...
I think that might be from it having two types of flash on it and the comouter only reading ome type. Check to see if the is more than one memory chip on the drive if possible.if so than there is probable more than the one type and the computer will only read the one type and that would be a usb driver error or bug. Look into every detail of that usb. Including the driver. U moight find something.
HAHA...well nvmd...i got the program to work, but it shows that it its correct...but i know it is a 4 gb flash drive...
Stevos3 months ago

This is still a thing, and the problem seems to be growing. The strange thing about this massive scam is that eBay for example does little to nothing to protect their buyers from these scammers. I think ebay knows about the problem but has a reason to let these fraudulent sellers to continue their business. Haven't figured out why though. You can spot the fakes fairly easily from the ad alone (price, design)

I bought a Toshiba 64G flash drive with printed packaging and it was still a fake. Had 8 total Gs according to Chip Genius of which only 4G was available. The other 4 was write protected to house the files that told the drive it was 64G. So, beware name brands too!

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