Reviewer buys 16TB portable SSD for $70, proves it’s a sham

Enlarge / Something would not look proper right here.

Amazon will not deny that fraudulent critiques on its platform are a downside. And regardless of years of reviews of faux storage merchandise, listed with falsified critiques to cowl up faux specs and efficiency claims, the scams preserve coming.

On Monday, Review Geek detailed its buy of what an Amazon itemizing claimed was a 16TB portable M.2 SSD for $70. The drive, like related Amazon listings, had dozens of five-star critiques. Yet, a budget SSD turned out to be simply a 64GB microSD in a circuit board with a USB-C connector.

This is all regardless of the drive exhibiting as 16TB storage on Windows, which Review Geek suspects is because of misleading circuit board firmware.

The itemizing and field weren’t even trustworthy about its connectivity, claiming USB 3.0 Micro B to USB 3.1 Type-C. The gadget actually depends on USB 2.0, Review Geek decided after testing the product with ChipGenius, an app for inspecting USB gadgets. Moving 1GB of knowledge with the SSD microSD card reportedly took 20 minutes as a substitute of the anticipated single minute.

Finally, the field’s claims of compatibility with sensible TVs, Android, Windows 7, and Windows 10 stay questionable, and assist for “| OS” appears unattainable since that is not a factor.

The excellent news is that Review Geek did not discover any malware on the gadget.

The unhealthy information is that this is only one instance of the numerous which have been reported over the previous few years and stay scattered throughout Amazon.

Cheap “16TB SSDs” abound

After studying Review Geek’s story, I searched Amazon for a “16TB SSD,” and was instantly met with $70-$110 choices with unknown model names, like Generic, SAJIULAS, and WIOTA, the model of the drive Review Geek bought. All had a minimum of 3.5 stars, and a few had tons of of critiques.

However, studying a few of these critiques made me query if we have been utilizing SSDs fallacious all this time. A evaluation on one of many remarkably low cost portable SSD listings declared the product to be “a very colourful throw, however thinner” than anticipated. Another reported that the drive proved “very gentle and ideal” for their 6-year-old. One evaluation pointed to the SSD being a “lovely portrait” that appears nice within the kitchen, whereas one other 5-star evaluation pointed to the excessive microphone and video high quality.

I even noticed a evaluation hinting at one of many portable SSD’s true nature, stating that it’s an “inexpensive 64GB” choice, regardless of the evaluation showing underneath a 16TB SSD.

As identified by Review Geek, scammers have been modifying present listings (together with new footage, titles, and descriptions) for a product till they’re promoting a utterly completely different merchandise. That manner, sellers can preserve the excessive critiques, and make the brand new product look extremely rated. This additionally explains how portable storage may get 5 stars for being nice to take a look at whereas consuming dinner.

Whether you name it evaluation merging, evaluation reuse, or evaluation hijacking, it’s a apply scammers have used to mislead PC part buyers for years and one Amazon has but to eradicate.

History repeats itself

Unfortunately, tales of primary microSD playing cards posing as high-speed, high-capacity portable SSDs have been selecting up steam recently. ZDNet reported on shopping for a $20 instance in May, and TechRadar mentioned the problem in September, noting the takedown of some Amazon listings after its article. In August, we reported on a scammer promoting a 30TB portable SSD on Walmart for $39.

Regarding PC storage basically, there are numerous reviews of individuals getting merchandise completely different from what’s marketed on Amazon. And it’s not solely restricted to SSD storage. People have reported duplicitous postings for low cost exhausting disk drives and USB flash drives.

Review Geek’s story is a reminder of how cautious buyers should be when shopping for suspiciously low cost tech from web sites. Despite reviews and subsequent removals of fraudulent storage gadgets, they preserve popping up.

According to Review Geek, the product he bought disappeared and was instantly changed by one other itemizing earlier than Review Geek reported the fraud to Amazon. It’s unclear if Amazon eliminated the unique posting or if the vendor did it independently earlier than it may very well be penalized.

As Review Geek put it, it’s like a recreation of whack-a-mole for Amazon. Amazon’s evaluation course of has led to scrutiny from prospects, the media, and UK’s competitors regulator, The Competition and Markets Authority. Amazon has turned to the courts to combat firms and Facebook teams that it alleges promote faux critiques. Amazon has been suing over faux critiques since 2015. however they nonetheless run rampant on the positioning.

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