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

Reviewer buys 16TB portable SSD for $70, proves it's a hoax
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Amazon Fake Portable SSD
Enlarge / Something doesn’t look right here.

Amazon won’t deny that fraudulent reviews on its platform are a problem. And despite years of reports of bogus storage products, listed with spoofed reviews to cover up bogus specs and performance claims, the scams keep coming.

Monday, check out geek detailed his purchase of what one Amazon listing claimed was a 16TB portable M.2 SSD for $70. The drive, like similar Amazon listings, had dozens of five-star reviews. However, the cheap SSD turned out to be just a 64 GB microSD on a circuit board with a USB-C connector.

All this despite the drive showing up as 16TB of storage in Windows, which Review Geek suspects is due to tricky circuit board firmware.

The listing and box weren’t even honest about their connectivity, claiming USB 3.0 Micro B to USB 3.1 Type-C. The device is actually based on USB 2.0, Review Geek determined after testing the product with chipgenius, an application to examine USB devices. Move 1 GB of data with the ssd The microSD card reportedly took 20 minutes instead of the expected minute.

Finally, the box’s compatibility claims with smart TVs, Android, Windows 7 and Windows 10 remain questionable, and compatibility with “| OS” seems impossible, since that doesn’t exist.

The good news is that Review Geek did not find any malware on the device.

The bad news is that this is just one example of the countless that have been reported in recent years and remain scattered across Amazon.

Cheap “16TB SSD”

After reading the Review Geek story, I searched Amazon for a “16TB SSD” and immediately came across options for $70 to $110 with unknown brands, including Generic, SAJIULAS, and WIOTA, the brand of the drive Review Geek bought. All had at least 3.5 stars and some had hundreds of reviews.

However, reading some of these reviews made me wonder if we’ve been using SSDs the wrong way all this time. A review of one of the remarkably cheap portable SSD listings declared the product to be “a very colorful launch, but slimmer” than expected. Another reported that the boost was “very smooth and perfect” for his 6-year-old son. One review noted that the SSD is a “beautiful portrait” that looks great in the kitchen, while another five-star review noted the high quality of the microphone and video.

I even saw a review that hinted at the true nature of a portable SSD, stating that it is an “affordable 64GB” option, despite the fact that the review is on a 16TB SSD.

As Review Geek noted, scammers have been editing existing listings (including new images, titles, and descriptions) for one product until they’re selling an entirely different item. That way, sellers can keep the reviews up and make the new product look highly rated. This also explains how portable storage could get five stars for being great to look at while dining.

Whether you call it merger reviewreview reuseeither review kidnappingit’s a practice that scammers have used to deceive PC buyers for years and that Amazon has yet to stamp out.

history repeats itself

Unfortunately, stories of basic microSD cards masquerading as high-speed, high-capacity portable SSDs have gained steam of late. ZDNet reported purchasing a $20 example in May, and techradar discussed the issue in September, noting the removal of some Amazon listings after his article. In August, we reported on a scammer selling a 30TB Portable SSD for $39.

When it comes to PC storage in general, there are countless reports of people getting products other than what is advertised on Amazon. And it’s not just limited to SSD storage. People have reported duplicity publications for cheap HDD and usb flash drives.

The Review Geek story is a reminder of how careful shoppers should be when purchasing suspiciously cheap technology from websites. Despite reports and subsequent removals of fraudulent storage devices, they keep showing up.

According to Review Geek, the product you purchased disappeared and was immediately replaced by another listing before Review Geek reported the fraud to Amazon. It’s unclear if Amazon removed the original listing or if the seller did so independently before it could be penalized.

As Review Geek said, it’s like a hit-a-mole game for Amazon. Amazon’s review process has led to scrutiny from customers, the media and UK competition regulator, The Competition and Markets Authority. Amazon has gone to court to combat companies Y facebook groups that claims to sell fake reviews. Amazon has been suing over fake reviews since 2015. but they still run rampant on the site.

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