I was browsing Amazon.com the other day as I was looking for a new 200 GB MicroSD Card for a upcoming review. I was shocked to see that Amazon’s listing was flooded with fraudulent MicroSD Cards. I thought that Amazon did a much better job then other sites such as Wish.com does. I guess I was wrong. Buying fake MicroSD cards is dangerous as it can result in data loss or worse.
WARNING: DO NOT BUY ANY OF THE FAKE ITEMS MENTIONED IN THIS POST. DATA LOSS IS ALMOST CERTAIN AND WORSE.
What Are Fake MicroSD Cards?
When I mention fake MicroSD cards, I am not referring to off brand cards, rather MicroSD cards that advertise a different amount of storage then the SD card actually has. These MicroSD cards are often stamped and branded to appear as very high capacity storage (200 GB – 2 TB) and are often priced significantly lower than other similar options. An example of this would be a 512 GB MicroSD card for $25.00.
It is not abnormal for the scam artists who are selling these cards to explain the low prices by saying that they have cut out the middle man and not paying a lot of money for advertising – thus passing the savings onto you. They like to compare it to shoe brands – you pay more for brands like Nike while the generic shoes at department stores may work just as well. Sadly this is just part of the deception.
The problem is these fake MicroSD cards are a complete farce. They may be labeled as a 512 GB MicroSD card on the package but are actually only 8-16 GB. Furthermore these fake MicroSD cards have been modified to display this fake capacity when viewed on a computer. If you attempt to copy more than a few GB of data to these fake MicroSD card, your data may be corrupted. Say goodbye to those priceless wedding photos.
Aside from the deceptive capacity, these fake MicroSD Cards are often incredibly slow when copying data. Copying a moderately large file such as a 2 GB file may take 5-8 hours to complete.
What Are The Dangers of Fake MicroSD Cards
As I mentioned in the previous section, the biggest danger of these fake MicroSD cards is data loss. Depending on how you use the MicroSD card, it can be days or months before you realize that you have been scammed and all of your photos are gone. Data recovery is impossible for these cards.
The other problem with these fake MicroSD cards is they are often manufactured in less than ideal conditions and with very questionable parts. I have personally seen one of these fake MicroSD cards (fake 32 GB card) overheat and melt a MicroSD card adapter. An overheating MicroSD card may cause damage to electronics or even an explosion if it catches a cell phone on fire. Remember that many cell phones that have a MicroSD card slot have it very close to the battery.
How to Spot a Fake MicroSD Card?
Here are a few tips to spot a fake MicroSD card:
- Abnormally large capacities – While it is possible to find countless listings for insane capacity MicroSD cards on Amazon, the largest actual MicroSD card on the market is SanDisk Ultra 400 GB – and it is not cheap at $200.00. This means that any card greater than this is certainly a fake. Note: SanDisk does make a 512 GB full size SD Card that is also legitimate at an eye watering $300.
- Deceptive branding/Fake Logos – Many of these fake MicroSD cards will try to masquerade as other reputable brands of MicroSD cards. Some of them are brazen enough to to use the same exact color schemes and logos of reputable brands. You can see this with fake MicroSD Cards from SsamDisk and Kingflash.
- “Generic” branding – Many of these flash drives may use the same color scheme/text as other reputable flash drive but at the same time forget to put the manufacturer name on the drive. Most of these will match the font of SanDisk cards but only label it with the capacity and “MicroSD”. This is done to allow a single manufacturer to flood the market under hundreds of different sellers to make it harder for companies to shut down.
- Prices that are too good to be true – While the prices of flash memory has fallen in the past few years, it is not yet down to pennies per GB. You should look at the prices of reputable companies (Samsung, SanDisk, PNY and Patriot) to see if the price for the MicroSD card you are looking at is realistic.
- Reviews – Look at the reviews of the product and put your BS detectors onto high. Several of these fake MicroSD cards will have a number of stellar reviews – which are all as fake as the product itself but under those, you will see a bunch of reviews complaining of data loss.
Amazon.com Has a Problem
If you head over to Amazon and search for “Micro SD Card” you will see a listing with hundreds of MicroSD Cards. Many of these cards are offered with free Amazon Prime 2 Day Shipping and many of these cards are completely fake. Just on Page 1, I managed to spot several – here is a list of a few of them to avoid:
- DeLuMa 256 GB MicroSD Card ($23.99 with Free Amazon Prime Shipping) – This card was actually listed as a “Sponsored” MicroSD Card (Pictured Above) (Update 05/16/2018 – The price of the DeLuMa 256 GB MicroSD Card was increased to $35.99)
- Bonstar 256 GB MicroSD Card ($26.99 with Free Amazon Prime Shipping)
- TomaDisk MicroSD Card 256 GB (22.99 with Free Amazon Prime Shipping)
- Generic 256 GB MicroSD Card ($19.98 with Free Amazon Prime Shipping)
- MiniMicro 256 GB Class 10 MicroSD Card ($15.99 with Free Amazon Prime Shipping)
- Wolkano 128 GB MicroSD Card ($9.99 with Free Amazon Prime Shipping)
- Generic 256 GB MicroSD Card ($15.99 with Free Amazon Prime Shipping)
- Psonsoi 256 GB MicroSD Card ($15.99 with Free Amazon Prime Shipping) – Bad Reviews for this product go back to January 2nd and Amazon has yet to pull this product
- HSHares 256 GB MicroSD Card ($19.99 with Free Amazon Prime Shipping)
- SSAMDisk 256 GB MicroSD Card ($22.99 with Free (non-Prime) Shipping) – Note – this one is trying to look like SanDisk
- Kingflash 256 GB MicroSD Card ( $22.99 with Free Amazon Prime Shipping) – Note – this one is trying to look like Kingston
What is both insulting and somehow subconsciously instills trust in some of these brands is that a few of them are listed as “Sponsored” on Amazon’s website. This may lead to some buyers thinking that Amazon has vetted the product and stands by it.
In fact several “companies” like Psonsoi, Generic, Bonstar, TomaDisk and DeLuMa seem to only exist to sell these Fake MicroSD Cards. In fact “Generic” is pretty bad as they do carry a massive number of Fake drives (several skinned to look like legitimate drives) and also carry a small number of real MicroSD cards to make them look legitimate. You also have SSAMDisk who is trying to imitate the reputable brand of SanDisk as well as Kingflash who is trying to imitate Kingston.
To make matters worse for Amazon, many of these products are flooded with reviews that contain the word “Scam”, some of these reviews are over 6 months old and Amazon foes not appear to have taken any action. Amazon should have a way to report these clear scams and lock these sellers out of their system for good.
For the record, I am a stock holder in Amazon and I really do not like investing my money into companies who make it easy to scam customers.
It is also worth noting that these fake MicroSD Cards have also found their way into Amazon’s Ads
I will be sending this over to Amazon and update this site periodically if there are any updates.
Copy of E-Mail Sent to Amazon via the Contact Page on Amazon.com
Good Morning Amazon,
While browsing your web page for MicroSD Cards (using the generic term “256 GB MicroSD Card”) – I was shocked to see that close to half of the listings are for fake MicroSD Cards (1-16 GB cards that have been modified to show up as 256 GB Cards). As someone who works in IT, I know that these cards are something that should be avoided but I am afraid that a large number of consumers may fall for this scam. Several of these fake MicroSD cards have reviews going back to early 2018 and some even go back to 2017 with clear evidence of the scam.
I have published a list of just the fake MicroSD cards showing up on Page 1 of my search on my blog – https://kmyers.me/blog/rant/warning-amazon-has-a-massive-problem-with-fake-microsd-cards/ .
I do not feel that Amazon is acting in the best interest of consumers if you do not take immediate action to remove these con-artists from your platform. Please feel free to reach out to me if you would like me to find more.
I have also sent a Tweet to @Amazon and @AmazonHelp
— Keith Myers ♛ (@KeithIMyers) May 13, 2018
Update : 10:50 AM on 05/14/2018 – Response from Amazon
Update : 11:14 AM on 05/14/2018 – Response To Amazon
Good Morning XXXXXX,
- B07CGKRFPQ DeLuMa 256 GB MicroSD Card ($23.99 with Free Amazon Prime Shipping) – This card was actually listed as a “Sponsored” MicroSD Card (Pictured Above)
- B07CQ31LW2 Bonstar 256 GB MicroSD Card ($26.99 with Free Amazon Prime Shipping)
- B07CH7BWLM TomaDisk MicroSD Card 256 GB (22.99 with Free Amazon Prime Shipping)
- B07BKWD6F6 Generic 256 GB MicroSD Card ($19.98 with Free Amazon Prime Shipping)
- B075M1PGCD MiniMicro 256 GB Class 10 MicroSD Card ($15.99 with Free Amazon Prime Shipping)
- B079244NRV Wolkano 128 GB MicroSD Card ($9.99 with Free Amazon Prime Shipping)
- B078PK5N63 Generic 256 GB MicroSD Card ($15.99 with Free Amazon Prime Shipping)
- B077TFPHSC Psonsoi 256 GB MicroSD Card ($15.99 with Free Amazon Prime Shipping) – Bad Reviews for this product go back to January 2nd and Amazon has yet to pull this product
- B076TYQFX9 HSHares 256 GB MicroSD Card ($19.99 with Free Amazon Prime Shipping)
- B076GXMTQB SSAMDisk 256 GB MicroSD Card ($22.99 with Free (non-Prime) Shipping) – Note – this one is trying to look like SanDisk
- B075DCN144 Kingflash 256 GB MicroSD Card ( $22.99 with Free Amazon Prime Shipping) – Note – this one is trying to look like Kingston
- B075D5V19V SAMTONG 256GB Micro SD SDXC TF Memory Card ( $19.99 with Free Amazon Prime Shipping) – Note – this one is trying to look like Samsung
Keith I Myers
Update : 11:48 AM on 05/14/2018 – Response from Amazon