Kingston’s latest usb flash drive product line, DataTraveler 150 is the victim of counterfeiters. Scammers and Fraudsters know a good thing when they see it. The reputation of Kingston for quality products is the perfect target. eBay is the favorite place to sell counterfeit items especially for flash technology. The conduit market is worldwide.
eBay does little to stop these sellers. At most, a fraudlent seller gets a little tap on the wrist, a suspension for a few months. Meanwhile eBay victims are ignored. The damage to brand name products with lowered consumer confidence matters little to eBay’s drive to profit. The only thing eBay will do, is scurry to hide the evidence. How? If they suspend a seller, they now have the opportunity to erase his listings. Cover their tracks and the fake flash sellers tracks from eBay members and any brand name companies that might investigate. Because of this behavior, the FrankenFlash Project is now forced to delay warnings and alerts – until they can collect evidence.
The lastest brand name drive to be counterfeited and sold on eBay is the 32GB DataTraveler 150 USB Flash Drive. For validation information see: Kingston USB Flash Drives. How To Check You Have A Genuine One And Not A Counterfeit – Easy Guide. Kingston Technologies Fighting To Protect Consumers And Itself From Counterfeits.
Kingstone released this drive in the fall of 2008. SOSFakeFlash’s network continues to grow and Blogger123 (nom de plume) reported to SOSFakeFlash with evidence on eBay seller abestpartner0. abestpartner0 has sold 1300+ 32GB DataTraveler 150 USB Flash Drives to eBay members.
Here is the investigation and evidence from SOSFakeFlash:
Blogger123 received his drive from abestpartner0. It looked like a genuine Kingston drive.
You might be wondering why the drive has been taken apart. Well, in Blogger123‘s case he got the worst fake of all – a fake without a flash drive chip. Yes, no flash drive. He was unable to write anything to the drive as there was no drive. At the moment he does not dare to pry off the other half of the case as it is glued and like other victims of this seller he is pursuing.
This is what the drive looks like.
Perhaps someone was asleep on the assembly line? Well Kingston goes through a lot of effort to protect their products and has serial numbers that you can use to validate your flash drive purchase. Each drive, just like software has a unique number.
Blogger123 read:Kingston USB Flash Drives – Detect Counterfeits And Fakes – Product Verification and used the Memory Verification
He received a reply:
Kingston Validation Confirmation
You have entered the following information:
Serial Number: KT13852-00015788License Key:
The flash memory product you inquired was already registered by another user, so it may not be authentic Kingston memory product. We suggest that you double check the information on the product label. (Refer to the Kingston Verification website for details).
so the serial number was already registered. That means it was stolen, just like software serial keys can be stolen. Every Kingston drive gets it’s own unique number to combat fraud.
SOSFakeFlash asked us to delay publishing this information as eBayers are getting together. abestpartner0 sold over 1300 of these drives. They sold for less then 1/4 of the usual retail price and offered free shipping too.
Everyone is very interested to know just how eBay will handle this problem:
- Will they try to hide the evidence as they always have?
- Will they come clean with eBayers who bought the drives?
- Will they pretend they have no responsibility for allowing band name counterfeits to be sold?
- Will they tell Kingston, it never happened?
- Just when will eBay grow up and behave in a professional responsible way?
- When will they show transparency and address the problem of counterfeit and fake flash products instead of continuing in denial?
- When will they institute strict and rigorous guidelines for listing such products and actually hold sellers accountable?
SOSFakeFlash made sure to get all the eBay item numbers in case eBay tries wiggle out of this one.
The FrankenFlash Project was founded by victims of fake flash device purchases. They realised this was a serious global problem. It is one thing to be skunked out of money, another to lose important data that can NEVER BE REPLACED!
Members of the Project are very disheartened to see just how quickly a wonderful new drive such as the Kingston DataTraveler 150 USB Flash Drive has fallen to predators of fake flash profit! It costs a lot of money to innovate technology and this is the last thing Kingston needs!
For older members in the FrankenFlash Project – Kingston is an Icon. It is the brand we all trusted for any flash based needs. The author is typing this article on a computer using Kingston Ram Chips!
Because of SOSFakeFlash’s recent discovery on eBay they advise that no one by any Kingston usb flash drives on eBay.
Go to a local retail store, or buy from a reputable internet site such as newegg.com or newegg.ca. Or better still, buy from Kingston’s site directly. Better to pay a little more and make sure you have the genuine article. Stay away from eBay for any usb flash drive purchases! Unless you buy from the tiny list of genuine sellers SOSFakeFlash has listed.
To buy any flash based item on eBay is to risk not only losing your money, but also your data. It is just not a safe thing to do. It is also not wise.
Visit these sites for additional information:
- New! Flash Drive Education. Fakes and Counterfeits http://flashdrivefacts.wordpress.com/
- Early Warning On Fake Flash Sellers http://fakememorysentinel.wordpress.com/
- Documented Fake Flash Sellers. Help. Main site: http://sosfakeflash.wordpress.com/
- Known Solutions For Repariing Flash Usb Devices. http://fixfakeflash.wordpress.com/