OT: UK Fake data storage devices


For anyone able to access BBC iPlayer have a look at the recent 'Fake Britain'. (Last Friday I think).

There is an interesting section on fake USB HDD, USB stick and SD storage cards.
The proportion of counterfeit/fake is, on the face of it, quite alarming.
Some can even fool your PC so that the claimed storage is shown.
Be aware and be careful.

Other people may find the cheap Chinese fake CND nail polish interesting too.


Senior Member
I am convinced all the fake crap gets sent to the UK, as i have never heard any one other country complain as often about fake items.

Here in OZ we see a fraction of fake stuff compared to the UK, i can only expect other countrys actually make fake stuff for the UK market.


Well, I can only offer some un-scientific thoughts.

1) UK plus Europe is a way bigger market than Australia therefore a bigger target.

2) UK and Australia both have strict Border & Customs control but maybe as more tonnage comes to UK&Europe then, mathematically, more tonnage slips through.

3) I don't know about Australia but UK has an enthusiastic Trading Standards and Counterfeit Goods policy resulting in a growing prison population.

4) For you to hear about it requires publicity. UK is liberally sprinkled with TV & Radio programmes (mostly BBC) about this sort of stuff. Unless someone broadcasts or publishes then you won't hear about it. I don't listen to reports from other countries, do you?

5) The population of UK plus Europe is enormous compared to Australia therefore, numerically, we will have more dodgy traders and markets willing to procure and distribute.


Senior Member
Fake stuff gets sent everywhere.
There was a story last year about some counterfeit ICs making its way into avionics of US Air Force fighter jets.


Senior Member
I've seen a few fake memory devices here in Oz. However, most come from internet purchases from China. I call them "forget" chips rather than "memory" chips:).

There was a case a couple of years ago where a dodgy on-shore Flea Bay operator was flogging fake and/or marginal gear from Asia. The consumer affairs dept successfully dragged him through the courts. If you flog fake stuff in Australia, you do it at your peril.

I buy stuff from HK/China/Thailand via the internet but never any big orders. Yes I've had failures, particularly with unbranded memory products, but they were cheap and it was a risk I was prepared to take. Do it with your eyes open.

The "best" deal I saw was when I was in Brazil a few years ago. Street vendors were selling "Kingston"-brand-looking 64GB thumb drives when the biggest I'd seen anywhere in the world was 4GB! They looked the part: perfect-looking packaging but I am a coward at heart and didn't take the risk.

Jeremy Harris

Senior Member
Years ago I got caught buy buying a cheap 32Gb USB memory stick from eBay. It appeared to be 32Gb, formatted as 32Gb, but in reality was 8Gb. Somehow the scammers had faked an 8Gb stick to make itself look like a 32Gb stick. It still works fine up to 8Gb and I've been using it for a couple of years with no problems, but it's clear that there are an awful lot of fakes around, almost all coming from China.

I've also bought (and tested) fake power MOS FETs from China. Some of these were clearly fakes from the markings being in the wrong place, some were visibly fakes because the manufacturer only made those particular parts in Mexico, not the Far East, yet the fakers had put the wrong country code on the package. Some of the fakes weren't far off the spec of genuine devices though. For example, I tested some IRF4110 FETs and found that they seemed to have the same voltage rating and a very similar Rdson (within my limited ability to measure this). Where they didn't meet the spec (apart from the dodgy package marking) was when it came to measuring the turn on time. Every single fake I tested blew when I tried to turn it on under load fast, whereas the genuine ones were fine. Clearly the fakes just couldn't meet the dV/dT switching time spec.

I have a friend who lives in Shenzhen, and who regularly visits the massive electronics market there (this place: http://www.evilmadscientist.com/2009/a-visit-to-the-electronics-markets-of-shenzhen/ ). He's local and knows his way around there, so can usually get me stuff that's "real" and send it on. Even then he's been caught out a few times with fake stuff. One example was some power controllers, where he assured me that he knew the seller and the power semiconductors were genuine. He was upset when I Skyped him to tell him they were fake and he went back to the seller. The seller just shrugged and said "but the price was good". There's a Chinese manufacturing philosophy that it's all about price, and that cutting any corner to get the price down is a good thing, even if the end result is a product that fails. For many manufacturers the reliability of their products is of low priority, the most important factor is price, as there isn't the same emphasis on consumer protection and people expecting reliable products there as there is here. That's changing, as Western companies set up manufacturing plants in China and set higher quality standards, but that goes against the traditional way Chinese business has worked for years.


Senior Member
Yeah, Dippy i understand the mass UK import market, i only made a comment after your thread went cold for a few days, to see if it would attract some input.