Reviewer buys 16TB portable SSD for $70, proves it’s a sham - Ars Technica

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Amazon won't contradict that fraudulent reviews connected its level are a problem. And contempt years of reports of fake retention products, listed with falsified reviews to screen up fake specs and show claims, the scams support coming.

On Monday, Review Geek elaborate its acquisition of what an Amazon listing claimed was a 16TB portable M.2 SSD for $70. The drive, similar akin Amazon listings, had dozens of five-star reviews. Yet, the inexpensive SSD turned retired to conscionable beryllium a 64GB microSD successful a circuit committee with a USB-C connector.

This is each contempt the thrust showing arsenic 16TB retention connected Windows, which Review Geek suspects is owed to deceptive circuit committee firmware.

The listing and container weren't adjacent honorable astir its connectivity, claiming USB 3.0 Micro B to USB 3.1 Type-C. The instrumentality truly relies connected USB 2.0, Review Geek determined aft investigating the merchandise with ChipGenius, an app for examining USB devices. Moving 1GB of information with the SSD microSD paper reportedly took 20 minutes alternatively of the expected azygous minute.

Finally, the box's claims of compatibility with astute TVs, Android, Windows 7, and Windows 10 stay questionable, and enactment for "| OS" seems intolerable since that's not a thing.

The bully quality is Review Geek didn't find immoderate malware connected the device.

The atrocious quality is that this is conscionable 1 illustration of the countless that person been reported implicit the past fewer years and stay scattered crossed Amazon.

Cheap "16TB SSDs" abound

After speechmaking Review Geek's story, I searched Amazon for a "16TB SSD," and was instantly met with $70-$110 options with chartless marque names, similar Generic, SAJIULAS, and WIOTA, the marque of the thrust Review Geek purchased. All had astatine slightest 3.5 stars, and immoderate had hundreds of reviews.

However, speechmaking immoderate of these reviews made maine question if we've been utilizing SSDs incorrect each this time. A reappraisal connected 1 of the remarkably inexpensive portable SSD listings declared the merchandise to beryllium "a precise colorful throw, but thinner" than expected. Another reported that the thrust proved "very brushed and perfect" for their 6-year-old. One reappraisal pointed to the SSD being a "beautiful portrait" that looks large successful the kitchen, portion different 5-star reappraisal pointed to the precocious microphone and video quality.

I adjacent saw a reappraisal hinting astatine 1 of the portable SSD's existent nature, stating that it's an "affordable 64GB" option, contempt the reappraisal appearing nether a 16TB SSD.

As pointed retired by Review Geek, scammers person been editing existing listings (including caller pictures, titles, and descriptions) for a merchandise until they are selling a wholly antithetic item. That way, sellers tin support the precocious reviews, and marque the caller merchandise look highly rated. This besides explains however portable retention could get 5 stars for being large to look astatine portion eating dinner.

Whether you telephone it review merging, reappraisal reuse, oregon review hijacking, it's a signifier scammers person utilized to mislead PC constituent shoppers for years and 1 Amazon has yet to eradicate.

History repeats itself

Unfortunately, tales of basal microSD cards posing arsenic high-speed, high-capacity portable SSDs person been picking up steam lately. ZDNet reported connected buying a $20 illustration successful May, and TechRadar discussed the contented successful September, noting the takedown of immoderate Amazon listings aft its article. In August, we reported connected a scammer selling a 30TB portable SSD connected Walmart for $39.

Regarding PC retention successful general, determination are countless reports of radical getting products antithetic from what's advertised connected Amazon. And it's not lone constricted to SSD storage. People person reported duplicitous postings for inexpensive hard disk drives and USB flash drives.

Review Geek's communicative is simply a reminder of however cautious shoppers indispensable beryllium erstwhile buying suspiciously inexpensive tech from websites. Despite reports and consequent removals of fraudulent retention devices, they support popping up.

According to Review Geek, the merchandise it purchased disappeared and was instantly replaced by different listing earlier Review Geek reported the fraud to Amazon. It's unclear if Amazon removed the archetypal posting oregon if the seller did it independently earlier it could beryllium penalized.

As Review Geek enactment it, it's similar a crippled of whack-a-mole for Amazon. Amazon's reappraisal process has led to scrutiny from customers, the media, and UK's contention regulator, The Competition and Markets Authority. Amazon has turned to the courts to combat companies and Facebook groups that it alleges merchantability fake reviews. Amazon has been suing implicit fake reviews since 2015. but they inactive tally rampant connected the site.