I can't believe I got scammed.

No, not from some Nigerian Prince or Barcelona lottery, but with nothing more innocent than a Sandisk Ultra II 4GB SD memory card.

Now, I don’t know if the eBay seller is aware that his cards are fakes, but fakes they are. No serial number on the back, relatively poor label quality (even if it’s on holograph-coated stock and high-DPI printing), no notch in the thumbnail handle, no hologram on the box, fake user manual (per above link). Damn thing doesn’t format properly.


I’ve written the seller and told him I’d be willing to ship the item back in exchange for a refund of the full amount (shipping included) and ended with a thinly veiled threat that I’ll be going to PayPal to report his selling of counterfeit goods if he isn’t forthcoming. (Unfortunately, PayPal has the absurd requirement that I send illegally counterfeited goods back to the seller before they’ll do anything. Great, that means I can ask for my counterfeit $100 bill back if I get called on it at the grocery store!)

Thing is, the price was pretty damn good, but didn’t quite pass the “too good to be true” point.

Fucking fake faker McFakey memory cards.

I’ve heard of people handing the counterfeit in to the rights owner or the police and obtaining a receipt, then using the receipt to get PayPal to process the ‘significantly not as described’ dispute.

I’ve had a couple of “significantly not as described” disputes, for knock-off sneakers. Paypal never asked me to return them at all. In one case, Paypal filing the dispute got me a refund from the seller, in another Paypal gave me a partial refund. I suspect it the item and price might make a difference.

“Significantly not as described” disputes may have different requirements by PayPal standards. The last counterfeit I reported (a DVD) I submitted as a counterfeit claim, and that’s when they told me I had to send it back to the seller with tracking to confirm its return shipment. I thought it was pretty stupid, and the tracked shipment would have cost almost as much as the DVD did, so it wasn’t worth pursuing it any further. Spending almost $100 on a memory card though, that I’ll carry through on.

I don’t think Paypal has a separate counterfeit claim. All I’ve seen are “non-receipt” and “significantly not as described” (which is how I filed my claims about Nikes that weren’t really Nikes)

Actually, you’re right. It’s eBay that has the fraud report. Either way though if it comes down to filing, then I will file with both eBay (which could result in account suspension) and PayPal (as a “significantly not as described,” which while not exactly the problem is close enough – it isn’t really a Sandisk).


I heard back from the seller, and she wasn’t aware they were counterfeit and claims she doesn’t know much about these things, that she just bought them from someone else. I’m inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt. She’s agreed to a full refund once I send it back, so that’s good.

But just to satisfy the “people suck” part of my brain, I’ll be monitoring her auctions for a while, just to see if she puts any more up. She hasn’t yet taken down her existing auctions for what I can now identify are other fakes, so we’ll see where it goes.

Counterfeit memory cards? Do they actually work, or are they just a piece of plastic with a pretty label?

They do work, they’re just cheap knockoffs is all, typically some no-name, underperforming card whose manufacturer hasn’t discovered the concept of quality control yet, with some counterfeit labels and fairly convincing packaging. It’s like paying for a Ferrari and finding out there’s a Mini Cooper under the chassis.

Worse yet, many fakes are configured to lie about their capacity. Meaning, you could buy a “4 GB” device, plug it into your computer and see the capacity reported as 4 GB, but, it’s really a 1 GB or maybe even a 128 MB card. Cheap MP3 players can be like that too.

Isn’t the Mini Cooper a decent car? I think you mean “Yugo” in this context. :slight_smile:

Faking namebrand memory cards is fairly low-rent. The big money is in fake Cisco gear, but there’s certainly more.

Yes, I suspect this is why the card I got can’t be formatted; it’s trying to format 4gb (3.78gb technically) but it is unable to complete the job because it doesn’t actually have that much space available. Bastages.

The inference was that it still works, it just doesn’t work like you expect it to. In my case, being that I got one of the really crappy fakes that doesn’t even work properly, then yes, it’s a Yugo. Only with its engine replaced by a two-cycle chainsaw motor. With a blown head gasket. And no oil. And carburetor with jets clogged by peanut butter.

Okay, so it’s exactly like a Yugo.

There is lots of buzz on the internet about this.

There was even a local story in the Milwaukee paper about these exact same scams. The writer made it sound like you have better than a 50/50 chance of getting a fake card through e-bay.

Yeah, I’ve known about fake cards for quite some time, which is why I’ve always been wary. The problem is that until now, every fake card I’ve come across on eBay has been loose – no retail packaging. That’s what caught me out this time. But at least I’m the wiser for it, and know what to look for in a replacement for this fake.

(The other thing that should have clued me in but didn’t occur to me at the time was that the only 4gb SD card Sandisk makes is the “Plus” variety – the one you can fold in half to reveal a built-in USB connector.