FAKE SanDisk Secure Digital Cards, my thoughts

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aussieram has produced the excellent "How to identify counterfeit SanDisk ... Cards" 

However, all is not as easy to tell as the Guide tells. 

I have been caught by these fakes, too late to do anything about it, as his guide appeared well after I was "done".
I will give you MY pointers, comparing a believed-genuine SanDisk Extreme III (purchased in the UK from a reputable seller) with a probably-fake SanDisk Ultra (purchased from ebay, supposedly "United Kingdom", but actually sent from Hong Kong - beware !)

1)  Notch - fake (right) has no notch, therefore my Ultra II's a fake.  (Note also - my "genuine" Extreme III (right) has no wavy lines; the fake Ultra does - some genuine ones have wavy lines).

2)  Label "shiny-ness"
The Genuine Extreme III has selected parts of the label shiny - but NOT ALL (for example, the "X" isn't); with the fake, all parts of the label other than the black wavy line are shiny.

3)  Plastic covering
The genuine one (left) doesn't appear to have worn at all after a year's use; the fake has evidence of heat damage (right - the lighter rectangle above the serial numnber can be seen) under similar conditions of use after only several months - therefore may be liable to failure (it hasn't yet, and seems to have worked well); also, this tells the expert what sort of chip is inside.  I'm not going to open it, as it probably won't work thereafter !

Possible pointers to fake cards:
1)  Came from Hong Kong or China, when advertised as from UK.

2)  Came from Hong Kong or China.

3)  Arrived without the plastic retail packaging.

However, none of these in itself is going to allow for a "item significantly different than promised" type of argument - although perhaps the arrival from HK / China might be grounds enough ??

My fake card came from Hong Kong when advertised as from UK, and without retail packaging.  Only some months later did the Guide I've mentioned appear, and I realised I'd been had.  However, the card works okay (not as well as the Extreme, but then the Extreme is 130x; the Ultra only 60x).

Non-diagnostic tests, as far as inexpert eyes can tell:

1)  Serial Numbers - can't tell, don't know what the real ones are supposed to be !  (Genuine one on left, fake on right).

2)  Plastic notch for Lock
Mine look almost exactly the same, except perhaps the fake tab (right) is slightly more rounded.


1)  Bid low.
Bid as if you are bidding for a cheap generic memory card - for the sort of price (or less) than you would get one for in the UK.  Don't be fooled into bidding higher prices for the (fake) branding - I only bid 1/2 the amount for mine that I would have paid for the cheapest unbranded card on the High Street.  I certainly didn't bid SanDisk prices for cards on ebay; I bid as if buying a generic unbranded card.

2)  Refuse the card if different.
If the card is in any way different from described, refuse it immediately, and contact the seller saying "this was supposed to be from the UK, and patently isn't", or "it looks fake for the following reasons". 

But, if you've bid for something on ebay, at the end of the day it's caveat emptor - buyer beware !


If there's anything you want me to add to this guide, please contact me :)


From dr_rockit (127)
Positive feedback:  100%
Member since:  14-Jan-04
Fake Sandisk SD Cards Guide:

Hi I have just read your guide and found it very useful. I too have been stung by a fake Ultra II card. My one the lock notch snapped off and also it would not fit into my TomTom easily, a genuine one does. It is very difficult to distinguish the size by eye but you soon know about it when it gets stuck half way into inserting into the slot. I think this would be useful to add to your guide.

Thanks, dr-rockit from dj12lee :-)

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