How to Spot a Fake MicroSD Card and Avoid Being Scammed

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How to Spot a Fake MicroSD Card and Avoid Being Scammed

Wish.com is an e-commerce site that offers excellent bargains on a wide variety of things. Everything from night-vision goggles and undergarments to Bluetooth adapters and dog seatbelts for your vehicle is available.

The service, which was launched by former Google and Yahoo engineers, has piqued the interest of bargain hunters.

Something else piqued my interest: microSD cards. MicroSD cards in large quantities were very inexpensive. The great majority of these cards, it turns out, are forgeries. They function in your smartphone but display a phony volume. Buyers are being duped by sellers.

Here’s how you avoid fake microSD cards.

What Does a Fake MicroSD Card Look Like?

The picture above is a Wish.com advertisement for a Huawei 1TB Class 10 MicroSD card. (A class 10 vehicle is very quick.) There are a few issues with the picture right now. Can you find out what they are?

Huawei doesn’t make microSD cards.

That’s it; that is the issue with the image. Chinese tech giant, Huawei, doesn’t make microSD cards for general sale. They do make proprietary Nano-Memory Cards that work with their devices, but they’re a different beast altogether (and don’t come in this size, as far as I know).

Want another example? The next example is a Verbatim 512GB Class 10 MicroSD card. Why is this one difficult?

Verbatim does not make 512GB microSD cards (at least, they don’t at the time of writing).

The Verbatim 512GB microSD card is trickier because Verbatim does make memory cards. You can find their products on the internet, lending the fake advert some credibility.

Here’s your final example.

On offer is a “Original MicroSD Card.” The memory card doesn’t even carry a specific brand. However, the microSD card has been very carefully designed to mimic the design of another technology giant. See how the Wish.com Original MicroSD Card listing steals the design of the official Samsung EVO Plus memory card?

It should be noted that Wish.com is not the only website offering microSD cards with phony memory. Counterfeit microSD cards abound on eBay. Amazon has sold (and sometimes still sells) counterfeit microSD cards via its third-party seller program.

If you wish to purchase on Wish.com securely, follow these guidelines.

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How Do They Fake the MicroSD Card Volume?

It’s not always simple to spot a phony microSD. Manufacturers are skilled at imitating designs. You should be concerned about more than just the design text.

The advertised volume is also a complete fabrication.

Scammers alter the microSD card controller to inflate the card volume. When you insert the microSD card into your system, it is recognized as a 512GB microSD. However, once you begin writing data to the device, you will discover:

  • There is insufficient room for your data.
  • Your existing data begins to be overwritten.
  • The card fails or becomes corrupt, keeping you out.

Simply put, these cards are dangerous for your data.

How to Check a Fake MicroSD Card

Overall, it sounds very horrible. If you have already purchased a microSD card from Wish.com, you may do a few tests to determine the real capacity of the drive in your hands. Here are three resources to assist you.

1. FakeFlashTest

FakeFlashTest is a software that determines a flash drive’s real capacity. FakeFlashTest is created by the same team that creates RMPrepUSB, a USB multiboot program. There are other fake microSD testing software available, but FakeFlashTest is by far the quickest. It also provides a variety of exams.

The Quick Size Test may swiftly determine whether or not a drive is phony. The Quick Size Test writes and reads 512 bytes across the disk at random intervals. If the write/read procedure fails, the failure is recorded in the log. If you want a more in-depth examination, the Test Empty Space option writes and reads to all accessible space on the disk before comparing the results.

As previously said, FakeFlashTest is younger than most comparable products and hence tailored for the purpose.

Download: FakeFlashTest for Windows (Free)

When it comes to monitoring the state of a microSD card, most users use H2testw. However, it was designed many years ago, and with increased drive capacity, the main test may take a long time to complete. That is not to say it is a poor tool; far from it. H2testw is still one of the finest tools for evaluating a phony microSD card.

H2testw, like FakeFlashTest, tests the drive’s free space by writing data to all available space on the device and then reading them back.

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Download: H2testw for Windows (Free)

3. USB Flash Drive Card Tester

The USB Flash Drive Card Tester is your go-to tool for determining the capacity of a USB flash drive. It isn’t the quickest flash drive tester, taking around 20 minutes to scan a 16GB disk.

Select Write, read, and compare from the dropdown box under Select test type to compare your drive’s capacity to its claimed capacity. If it returns any problems, you most certainly have a counterfeit microSD.

Download: USB Flash Drive Card Tester for Windows (Free)

4. Fight Flash Fraud

When it comes to detecting phony microSD cards, Windows users are now properly catered to. But what about users of macOS and Linux?

Fight Flash Fraud (F3) is a command line program for both Linux and macOS that allows you to check and verify the capacity of a USB flash drive in the same way that the other applications do. The only difficulty is that, as previously said, the normal software is a command line tool, which not everyone is familiar with.

However, not all is lost. If this describes you, you might look at F3X, a free macOS GUI for F3 that makes it simpler to use. F3-qt, a comparable Linux GUI, is also available.

Are Fake MicroSD Cards Worthless?

If you purchased $10 for a 512GB microSD card on Choose.com, you may wish to request a refund. They’ll probably give you a refund and let you retain the bogus microSD card. After all, they’re being sold with the understanding that they’re a forgery.

However, the bogus microSD card is not useless. Once you’ve determined the true extent of the RAM using one of the tools listed above, you can go to work on making it useable. After all, you paid for it and may have even gotten a refund.

Fix Fake MicroSD Card Using DiskPart

DiskPart is a disk partitioning software included into Windows. You can use the Command Prompt to launch it, and it is a simple approach to make the fake microSD useful.

  1. First, launch This PC. Make a note of the drive letter for the microSD card.
  2. Enter command into your Start menu search box, choose Best match, then right-click and choose Run as administrator.
  3. Now, type diskpart, followed by list volume.
  4. Enter volume [your drive letter]. You will now decrease the drive to the actual memory size. Please keep in mind that the following command operates in megabytes. For example, if you wish to reduce the disk capacity by 1GB, write “1000.”
  5. Enter the required [number of megabytes] shrink and hit Enter. For example, if you purchased a 512GB disk but it only had 8GB of capacity, you may write “shrink desired 504000.” The command will reduce the capacity by 504,000MB (504GB), leaving 8GB available for use.
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Reduce the disk volume to just below the working memory volume. So, if you have an 8GB disk, you may decrease it to 7.9GB by using the shrink desired command. Despite the fact that the drive capacity is now within its functioning range, the microSD card controller remains unchanged. As a result, if you exceed the 8GB restriction, your files may begin to overwrite the disk.

Return to This PC after you’ve decided on a size. Format the microSD card by right-clicking it. Wait for it to finish. You now have a functional microSD card. Not exactly the 512GB you expected, but it’s better than nothing.

Related: Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a MicroSD Card

Avoid Deals That Are Too Good to Be True

If an offer seems to be too good to be true, it probably is.

As you can see, hundreds of thousands of counterfeit microSD cards are on the market. They are also simple to locate. It’s not that consumers are clicking on unscrupulous advertisements or shopping at nefarious web retailers. Fake microSD cards wind up on the shelves of multinational merchants as well.

Image Credit: nanaplus/Depositphotos

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