FAKE SanDisk Ultra Compact Flash Cards Exposed

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How to identify counterfeit SanDisk Ultra II Compact Flash Cards

A significant high number of eBayers have been deceived by inferior quality, unpopular cheap, slow CF rebadged as SanDisk Ultra II for quick profit as a very high percentage of all 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, 8GB, 16GB CF listed on eBay are counterfeit items. Genuine buyers got scammed by fraudulent eBay sellers everyday and this process keep on repeating.

Below is a stringent list of Certified Genuine & Authentic sellers for peace of mind purchase of flash and computer memories on eBay. One can safely purchase from these sellers as they have been through our restrictive process of verification & checks:-

  1. techinfiniti

The list is open to all genuine sellers to join. Due to overwhelming requests to be on the list, sellers MUST maintain 99.8% and above eBay feedback and/or a minimum of 1000 positive feedbacks before you will receive a reply. These requirements even surpass the standard eBay PowerSeller program at any level.

Since October-2006, eBay has decided all sellers could no longer hide their BAD feedbacks. Simply enter seller's eBay ID and watch for Negative/Neutral feedbacks wordings such as 'fake' and 'counterfeit' before buying at http://www.toolhaus.org/cgi-bin/negs

Since many have not seen genuine production SanDisk unit and counterfeit is now made to appear like 80% genuine, it is indeed difficult for most people to tell them apart. From the pictures submitted by eBayers all over the world, we are exposing the physcial difference in the counterfeit which you can benefit from whether you intend to purchase one or make comparison with your own. Beware of sellers that are using original SanDisk web download pictures to sell counterfeit SanDisk as they do not represent the actual item that you will receive!

This article covers all 1st generation SanDisk Ultra II 512MB (SDCFH-512), 1.0GB (SDCFH-1024), 2.0GB (SDCFH-2048), 4.0GB (SDCFH-4096) and 8.0GB (SDCFH-8192) part numbers which are at speed of 10MB/s = 66X.

2nd generation SanDisk Ultra II 2GB (SDCFH-002G), 4GB (SDCFH-004G) and 8GB (SDCFH-008G) CF are now at speed of 15MB/s = 100X and must have 15MB/s wording.

For other flash memory product

Clue #1 Reveal Manufacturer's Part Number using PCMCIA CF Card Adapter (Cannot use USB Card Reader)

  • You can use any PCMCIA CF Card Adapter to reveal its true manufacturer's code property inside the CF card. The common USB Card Reader will NOT be able to reveal this information.
  • A Lexar 32-bit CardBus Reader was used to identify the manufacturer part number of the two 4GB CF cards under the test, using standard Windows XP or Vista's "Device Manager" or using the "Safely Remove Hardware" process on Windows taskbar.
  • Genuine SanDisk CF, will display as "SanDisk SDCFH-.... SCSI Disk Device" for SanDisk Ultra CF range, "SanDisk SDCFX-.... SCSI Disk Device" for SanDisk Extreme CF range. Substitute "...." with the actual capacity of your card in MB. So a genuine SanDisk 4GB Ultra CF will display as "SanDisk SDCFH-4096 SCSI Disk Device".
  • Fake SanDisk CF will display as other incorrect part number. One such fake CF displays as "TRANSCEND SCSI Disk Device" instead, clearly a rebadged CF from Transcend CF card.
  • Why REBADGING? The answer is HIGH PROFIT. The market price of corresponding 33X or 45X speed Transcend, A-Data or NoName OEM CF cards with different internal electronics components are clearly way less than half the price of the similar speed SanDisk. Double or triple the original selling price is achievable by simply rebadging them to become the 66X speed SanDisk Ultra II CF, when most buyers have no idea the CF card they have received is simply a rebadged fake SanDisk Ultra II card. So you must always check your cards!

                   GENUINE                -               COUNTERFEIT

Clue #2 Front view

  1. Genuine has  4 round metal corners inside the black plastic housing. Fake has 2 sharper top corners and 2 rounder bottom corners. Some fakes have the front label as upside down.
  2. Genuine has  thick black plastic housing at bottom edge and are in consistent with side edges as well. Fake is way too thin at bottom edge and thicker at side edges, resulting in overall larger internal metal surface area. Another fake variant has non-straight metal edge on the left and right hand side of the card as shown.
  3. Genuine has shinny aluminum surface with brushed horizontal pattern. Fake has matt/dull stainless-steel surface with no pattern.
  4. For 4.0GB card, genuine has a wider font face on the ' 4' digit. Fake is  bolder.
  5. Genuine uses print ready/control vector art technique to print the label. Fake uses inferior hi-res bitmap to copy the genuine label, so zoom in a bit to see the printing  flaw.

                   Genuine                   -                   Counterfeit

Clue #3 Back view

  1. Genuine has 4 round metal corners inside the black plastic housing. Fake has 2 sharp top corners and 2 round bottom corners. Some fakes have the back label as upside down.
  2. Genuine has  thick black plastic housing at bottom edge and are in consistent with side edges as well. Fake is way too thin at bottom edge and thicker at side edges, resulting in overall larger internal metal surface area. Another fake variant has non-straight metal edge on the left and right hand side of the card.
  3. Genuine has shinny aluminum surface with brushed horizontal pattern. Fake has matt/dull stainless-steel surface with no pattern.
  4. On the white label, genuine 4GB card has additional instructions to operate the card as 2GB Fat16 modes or 4GB Fat32 mode and a  hardware switch which is not found on 2GB card. Fake uses the same 2GB white label for all 2GB/4GB/8GB cards with no hardware switch on 4GB card.
  5. On the white label, older fake has extra ' TM' word appearing on top right hand corner of the 'CF' logo, product code incorrectly labelled as ' SDCFB', different font face on the ' 03 SanDisk' and  ' CF' logo.

                   Genuine                   -                   Counterfeit

Clue #4 Bottom/Side Edge view

  1. Genuine has one line of white color production batch/serial number ' BE06xxxxx MADE IN CHINA' on the  bottom edge or 2 lines of ' BE06xxxxx' & ' CHINA' on the side edge. Older fake usually has none or has other different pattern of characters like: 'ASS0606DG',  'ASS0607DH', '650712198 8DC04G1MP2-2LC00 ASS'Y IN TAIWAN' and '2GH ... 0602'. Some are in yellow-green (non-white) color. If you see other variant patterns, they are also fakes.
  2. Newer fakes are now being reported to have the 'legitimate' batch number like the genuine so this may no longer be a useful criteria.


                       Genuine                   -                   Counterfeit

    Clue #5 Clear Plastic Protective Clamshell

    1. Genuine has 4 very rounded corners on its SanDisk clamshell. Fake has 4 sharper corners as depicted by the view below. If you compare the clamshells side-by-side, you will better notice which is a genuine SanDisk clamshell.


                       Genuine                   -                   Counterfeit

    Clue #6 Retail Packaging view

    1. Genuine has all its printed wording properly set and allign. Fake has the red ' II' word out of allignment (it may sit lower or higher) with the rest of the ' Ultra' word. Some fake also have the ' R' trademark logo much smaller in size.
    2. On the circular ' TICK' logo, genuine has ' LIFETIME LIMITED WARRANTY' wording. Fake has ' LIMITED' wording missing. 
    3. All retail package has the golden metallic 'SanDisk 3D holographic sticker' at the front of the retail box with unique serial number, as pictured. However newer fakes are now being reported to also have changing serial numbers. Learn the FACTS about unique SanDisk serial number here.

        Clue #7 SanDisk counterfeit hotline

        What to do if I have acquired a counterfeit item! Who is responsible?

        • Selling counterfeit items deceiving as genuine is considered as  FRAUD, not merely a simple mistake. It is seller's sole responsibility.
        • Consumer protection laws are designed to protect all consumers, the gullible as well as the shrewd. The fact that a false statement may be obviously false to those who are trained and experienced does not change its character or take away its power to deceive others less experienced. Our consumer protection laws were enacted for the protection of the people, many who are trusting and naive about the wolves of the business world who come dressed in lambs' clothing.
        • Counterfeit items are NOT covered by genuine manufacturer's LIFETIME warranty.
        • If your item is from high volume sellers, don't be left ALONE in the battle, kindly advise and encourage all buyers in same situation as you are to take action.

        How to get full refund and how to expose fraudulent eBay sellers?

        • Check if the seller is still actively listing the same counterfeit items today!
        • After confirming receiving counterfeit item, please follow eBay guideline to contact seller to obtain full refund from seller. However if you are NOT telling PayPal/eBay about this problem, you are NOT assisting the process of exposing counterfeit sellers.
        • Many counterfeit sellers are willing to provide full refund, only if they get caught by you, if you did not catch them, they are laughing their way to the bank. So it is STRONGLY recommended that you must always file a report to PayPal/eBay by completing the Item Not Received or Significantly Not as Described process dispute after 10 days of item closing date so they are alerted of the development of fraudulent transaction and seller's BAD record will be permanently written in PayPal/eBay dispute system. If you have paid by Paypal, completing the Paypal Buyer Complaint Process to obtain full refund from Paypal within 45 days. Effectively you will get your money back either from the seller or from Paypal. Most important by going through the PayPal/eBay reporting procedure, you have assisted the process of exposing fraudulent sellers on eBay.
        • Since you have NOT been provided with what you have paid for, it does not falls into seller's return policy of faulty product so that they can get away for you to return the fakes at your own cost. Counterfeit is FRAUD, do not settle with the seller unless the seller is paying for all the associated return shipping cost of the item. You are covered by the 90 days protection period under eBay Standard Purchase Protection Program.
        • In many countries it is actually ILLEGAL to post counterfeit merchandise by mail or by commercial carrier, if the merchandise is being discovered by your local Customs, they will be confiscated with HEAVY FINE to both sender and recipient. If PayPal / eBay seriously wants you to ship the counterfeit items back to sellers before offering a refund to you, you should seriously bring the LAW to their full attention.
        • You still own the right to provide negative feedback against the seller to alert the fraudulent situation to warn other eBay buyers to uphold the eBay values and community spirit. Provided that you have provided negative feedback to the seller and if subsequently the seller provides you with an unfair retaliatory negative feedback, you have a case to lodge against the seller by requesting eBay for feedback removal to fully protect your feedback.
        • Beware that intentional wrong feedback extortion tactic is on the increase where you will receive a "positive comment/feedback in writing" but then it was purposely selected as red negative. Sellers are using this tactic so it would make you to believe that he has carelessly chosen the wrong feedback radio-button so that you would agree to mutually to retract the negative feedback you have provided him earlier in order to hide all his past BAD ratings. They have sold you a counterfeit, so don't fall into his feedback trap the second time.
        • In most countries, FRAUD is a CRIMINAL offense and injunctions may be brought against the fraudsters to prevent them from moving on under a different name after being banned. Thus, you may choose to contact your law enforcement agencies or each respective brand manufacturers in your region, to report counterfeit and provide them with your item detail and the source of the item, seller's address and contact phone number.

        Why eBay did not put a full stop to all these fraudulent activities?

        • We have been informed that eBay will NOT act unless the trademark owner (SanDisk, Sony, Kingston) contacts them. All buyers report to eBay hoping that the sellers receive permanent suspension for supplying counterfeits are in vain. eBay will ONLY act if directed to do so by your local law enforcement agency or the rightful trademark owner under eBay’s VeRO program.
        • You must file a complaint to your local government agency (in Australia is the Department of Fair Trading) about your seller. When increasing amount of fake reports are received daily by the government agency, pressure will accumulate and more heat will be generated.
        • When there is enough pressure and momentum, something will eventually be done as such government agencies are obliged to act against eBay's unguarded open web channel of allowing high influx of fraudulent items into each country's public marketplace, directly from overseas.
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