Warning as fake USB sticks hit the market
Scammers are trying to take advantage of the latest wave of large-capacity USB memory sticks by selling fake devices with much lower memory than advertised.
One of the UK's largest suppliers of customised USB flash memory sticks has spotted the latest con as devices with a monster 64GB of memory hit the consumer market.
According to the UK-based USBTrader.com, unscrupulous dealers are using a relatively simple "hack" to make smaller capacity devices appear to be higher value 64GB sticks, then selling them at seemingly bargain prices to online customers.
"This kind of con is nothing new," says Alan Dhillon, Customer Service Manager from USBTrader.com, "Somebody always tries to take advantage of customers whenever a new technology arrives on the market, and the introduction of a new generation of massive capacity flash sticks has brought them out again.
"What is new is the relative ease that the scam can be achieved. With the huge capacity of these devices, it could be weeks or even months before the victim knows they've been duped. By then, the criminal is long gone."
The scammers buy cheap, lower memory USB sticks and hack the device so when it is viewed on a computer, it appears to have a higher memory and sell it at a bargain price through internet shops and eBay. The victim only realises they have been scammed when the device is filled to its (much lower) capacity.