Fake Flash Drives for Sale

1TB or 2TB flash drives are not cheap! If you’ve seen an ad or an offer for a Terabyte Flash Drive for a low price ($20-50), it is a scam. While terabyte-sized flash drives are finally coming to market, they are still expensive (~$200).

Consider this legitimate flash drive, made by PNY. It’s a known brand-name at a significant price, $189. I can assure you: You can trust in this product and its pricetag.

Now regard this no-name 1TB flash drive for $30. Seem too good to be true? It is! The listing is deceptive and a scam. Here’s how it works:

If you buy this flash drive and plug it in, your computer will report a 1 or 2TB capacity. But the flash drive has been programmed to lie to your computer. There’s only about 16GB of space on there, and the dishonest programming will cause you to lose data as you fill this thing up with files. Once you reach the true capacity of the drive, it will self-corrupt and the drive will become unusable.

Unfortunately, this scam is common on Amazon and eBay. These scam listings often have decent reviews, but if you look, you’ll see warnings of fraud in some of them. And many people might honestly buy these flash drives and use them without problem, if they only store small amounts of data on them.

Don’t risk your data! It’s best that you avoid these deceptive products. I recommend that you stick to well-known brand-names when buying flash drives (e.g.: Sandisk, Samsung, PNY, Corsair, HP, Microcenter). Those companies will always be truthful with their technology items.

UPDATE: I bought one of these drives, to get some first-hand experience with them. For $30, I received a 2TB drive (even though I’d ordered a 1TB), but the packaging was devoid of any words or info. My computer told me the FALSE capacity:

There are no tools or ways within Windows 10 to determine the truth, but a nifty program called ChipGenius quickly revealed that the drive’s TRUE 16GB capacity:

I’ll soon have a conversation with the vendor, to get my money back and report the fraud.

SECOND UPDATE: Amazon appears uninterested in pursuing this issue and has not removed any fake flash drive listings. I have pressed their agents to give me contact info for fraud specialists in their company. And they have grudgingly given me some email addresses to write to. But when I send detailed info to those addresses, I get robo-responses back that are off-base, and to which I cannot reply.

I made one final attempt (just now), and spoke with an honest-seeming Amazon rep. He agreed with me that the items may be suspect, but he could only “report the sellers” of the items. When I pointed out that the sellers change from week to week, while the items stay the same and remain listed for sale, he had little else to add.

So I have reported this issue to the FTC and the Office of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection division. We’ll see if that does any good…

5 Comments

  1. Toy & Jon

    You amaze me in the amount of information you know and learn on a daily basis. Jon and I are really blessed to have you as our Computer genius!

  2. Janet

    Good morning Jesse, I like your posts. I found them very thorough and informative. They contain a lot of good information. Easy to read and understand. Thank you and keep up the good work. Janet

  3. Dianne

    Thank you once again Jesse. And I was just thinking about purchasing a new one. So Blessed to have you in my life!

  4. Kelly Coffelt

    Jesse:
    Thanks for the wealth of information you are willing to share. Also, you availability to assist with problems even during these trying times.

    • Bob Schwenger

      I appreciate your efforts!

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