Press Release

Amazon Memory Chip Scam May Destroy Consumer Data, Photos

Consumers easily deceived by fake micro SD® memory cards sold on Amazon.

December 5, 2016, Los Angeles, CA – It's no bigger than your fingernail, but this tiny replaceable memory card holds your data, photos and contacts in your phone, camera, iPad, tablet, laptop and GPS. If you buy a fake, you are likely to lose your data, images, and you may damage your equipment. Could you spot this counterfeit microSDHC® card as being a fake?

fake microSDHC

These counterfeit micro SD® memory cards were all listed for sale on Amazon, often at highly discounted prices. Alarmingly, Amazon does not notify buyers they may have purchased a counterfeit item that could damage their equipment and are entitled to a refund.

fake microSD memory

(photos: The Counterfeit Report®)

The Counterfeit Report®, a watchdog and consumer education website, purchased a dozen of the fake microSD cards from Amazon Direct, Amazon Warehouse Deals and Amazon Marketplace sellers. An additional 19,600 counterfeit cards were offered to unsuspecting Amazon consumers. All the microSDHC® memory cards purchased and tested by The Counterfeit Report tested at 7GB or less, a fraction of their stated capacity. It was not uncommon for some counterfeit cards to fail during the test. When the counterfeit memory cards reach their actual capacity, they begin to overwrite and erase any existing data.

The micro SD® trademark is owned by SD-3C, LLC, who licenses its use. None of the items shown are licensed products. The Counterfeit Report promptly reported the infringing items to Amazon, but the items and sellers often remained for weeks and required repeated removal demands.

Consumers cannot determine the actual memory capacity of a counterfeit memory card by simply viewing the capacity displayed on their computer, phone or camera. The counterfeiters are too smart for that, and simply overwrite the real memory capacity with a false capacity to match any capacity they print on the counterfeit packaging and card. The fake cards may tout certification from the FCC, CE, VCCI, and NATA leading you to believe that the card meets certification standards, but it does not. And, there is no manufacturer to honor any warranty.

The removable micro SD memory storage card is an amazing, convenient and trouble-free storage device. When it works, it is unnoticed. When you get a fake, it will be the very core of your frustration, despair and pain – and your data may be gone.

If you are going to trust your data and photos to a micro SD® card, be sure to buy authentic memory cards from authorized retailers or directly from the manufacturer. See for more examples of counterfeit and fake memory cards.

If you received any fake product, always retain the item as proof of your counterfeit claim and notify Amazon immediately at (888)280-3321. Open a refund claim under Amazons a-z Guarantee.

Consumer Recourse

Trafficking in counterfeits is a crime with criminal and civil penalties. The Counterfeit Report offers this advice to consumers;

  • Avoid all online purchases of trademarked items from China, and China sellers on Amazon Fulfillment and Amazon Marketplace. Many manufacturers don't authorize sales on these websites.
  • Buy online directly from the manufacturer, or their authorized retailers with clear return policies.
  • Always buy with a credit card, never cash, PayPal withdrawals or wire transfers.
  • When in doubt about a product, seek advice and compare it with an authentic product at an authorized retailer.
  • Always keep the disputed product; it is your only proof of receiving a counterfeit. If returned, sellers will simply deny it is counterfeit and sell it to another unsuspecting consumer.
  • Notify the offending website and dispute the purchase. Request a refund from the seller or website.
  • If a refund is denied; notify your credit card company that you have retained the counterfeit product and are disputing the charge.

Counterfeit products are a serious problem for e-commerce websites and consumers. With many retailers matching website prices, consumers are better served and protected purchasing from authorized retailers.


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The Counterfeit Report®
PO Box 3193
Camarillo, CA 93010

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