It’s not just email or phone scams you need to worry about, but also scams dealing with fake hardware.
There’s a new scam every day in the world, but some of them have the ability to surprise, slbeit not in a good way.
While the end is seemingly never in sight for scammers sending emails and pestering us over the phone, all of which target our finances in some way, one new scams seems to be popping up in America, and it’s very much a case of buyer beware for always buying the real thing.
It’s a scam affecting how you back up your computers and devices, as a Twitter thread reports how a cheap external solid state storage device advertising 30TB turned out to instead be two 512MB microSD drives attached to the inside of a cloned Samsung SSD case with dodgy firmware.
Board says HUB-TF2 and has two glued down cards (trans flash? SD Cards?). pic.twitter.com/gKd84tXIXI
— Ray [REDACTED] (@RayRedacted) August 25, 2022
Inside, the firmware had been hacked to read as 15TB each, even though the storage contained a total of 512MB each, and totalled a max of 1024MB, or just one megabyte.
The result of this storage scam is that you’ve already spent the money, with the scammer selling the goods and delivering you a drive that not only wastes your money, but also wastes your backup.
You may be able to get a refund, but your backup is also worthless.
For those of you who are following this thread but not understanding the scam:
Scammer gets two 512MB Flash drives. Or 1 gigabyte, or whatever. They then add hacked firmware that makes it misreport its size.
Windows reports EXACTLY 15.0 terabytes. Not 14.89, Not 14.78
— Ray [REDACTED] (@RayRedacted) August 26, 2022
Your files won’t actually write properly to this drive, and your backup won’t actually exist. Not only has the scammer taken your money, but also ruined your backup in the process.
We’ve checked online stores in Australia for evidence of this fake drive, and so far haven’t found anything, but it’s definitely a case of buyer beware, and why buying the real thing from the real brands is what people should be doing.
In retrospect, this isn’t too much of a stray from dodgy memory cards that you can find in the market, many of which are labelled as if they’re produced by the real companies, as scammers target those looking to be cheap.
When it comes to storage, this scam makes it important that you ensure you buy from a name brand, such as SanDisk, WD, Seagate, Samsung, Kingston, Toshiba, LaCie, Crucial, PNY, Lexar, and so on.
In short, if you need one of these devices, consider buying a brand associated with actually releasing the hardware, as cheap doesn’t always mean you’re getting the real deal.