The internet is full of true bargains and real scams. So many that it's difficult to tell the difference when ordering online. We're not talking about Amazon or any of its well-known brethren e-tailers but those fuzzy places out there that look legit and say the right things. They offer bargains that are particularly appealing in this pandemic age of having to cut corners to survive. Like an 8TB SSD drive for $49(US)!
The problem is you've never ordered from them before, and the bargains seem too good to pass up, or is it too good to be true?
This isn't just any piece of hardware either. This is your hard drive. Your data. All your stuff. Do you really want to trust it to a no-name brand at a steep discount? This doesn't even take into consideration what may be hiding or lurking on the device waiting to be unleashed on your system.
Specifically, what I'm talking about here are SSD drives in the 4 to 8 TB range that externally looks like the real deal but once you open them up it's a whole other story with cheap hardware and flash drives made to emulate a large drive. Some will be partitioned into four drives for the 8 TB version of this scam. None are anywhere near the capacity advertised.
So, what is inside? Generally, a four-way USB hub, four flash drives (32 Gig in this instance), a USB cord, and a case. When you plug it into your computer it will show the capacity advertised across the four “partitions” (flash drives) but further examination with disk tools will show the true capacity with the remaining gigs showing to be corrupted.
Interior View of Fake SSD Drive using Flash Drives to Mimic Storage (Image Property Smoorez)
I got involved in this in a roundabout way by wondering if this was a scam when I was informed of this great “bargain.” My first impulse is the same as some of you, and that is to check it out, so I'll save you the time. It doesn't take long to find articles and YouTube videos about the scam. The video linked in this article mentions a specific website that I have no experience with, and I advise you to do your homework on it to reach your own conclusion. The video will give you the general idea as well as show you the inside of one of these fake drives.
While some people know the technology and the appropriate price range, the rest of us are left to wonder what it's all about. Or... if you are a kid trying to stretch your birthday dollars it can be easy to fall for such an attractive price. Lots of things can be purchased on the internet but sometimes with that convenience comes some due diligence on our part as consumers.
If you think a price is too good to be true, and you are not sure of the marketplace then check that same product on sites you do trust or in this case ... check the market price of an SSD drive before you ever go shopping because those too good to be true deals are cheap for a reason.
The smart consumer arms themself with as much info as possible before the purchase.
M.D. McCallum, aka WarLord, is an international award-winning commercial graphics artist, 3D animator, published author, project director, and webmaster with a freelance career that spans over 20 years. Now retired, M.D. is currently working part-time on writing and select character development projects. You can learn more about MD on his website.