No one likes to be conned but unfortunately many innocents are still falling prey to con people who betray their trust.
This article serves as to highlight on con cases are appearing in the IT Retail industry.
The following is a case that just happened over the weekend during PC Fair. Original thread is at lowyat.net.
The images were used with permission from the person who started the thread a.k.a. owner of the pictures.
As you can see from the above, the weights were used to make the product feel solid. An empty case would be very light so those steel bolts and such were of much help to convince would-be buyers that the item is legitimate, and leaving some room for some wiring. I suspect that one leads to a 512MB flash memory (cheap), in case anyone wants to test the item. It’ll probably have the LED blinking and showing a figure that’s close to the disk size.
Going by logic, most people are hasty during purchase so people would see 512 and ignore the MB part. I’m not sure how this one works as I did not view every post on the thread no asked the person involved. Regardless the logic, it’s still a con case.
*INFO from others #1 : The flash storage in the drive actually comes with some sort of compression software that allows you to store more stuff. There are also fake USB drive that shows 100GB but could store only 1GB.
As you can see from the photo above, the case looks real. The product packaging looks real. And from the image below, the company details as well.
Take note on how dodgy is the receipt. No brand. Nothing. Just “500GB HD” when its actually “Western Digital 500GB External Hard Disk”. I think that the BRAND and DEVICE TYPE should at least be clear.
Can people do anything about it? I doubt it, you could report to the event organizer or even the police but the possible counter argument is that the user had meddled with the device and has ill-intent to defame the company. The victim has little to no evidence other than a receipt that says NOTHING about the product, other than the 500GB being the only part correct.
1. If the price is too good to be true, just be careful. There are some items that are offered at bargain price but I find it’s always best to check the goods in detail before parting your money. Some goods (eg external hard disk as in this case) are easier to manipulate than a monitor.
2. Buy items that are SEALED. Most products come properly sealed. In my case, my Buffallo external hard disks’ product packaging were sealed well so if the packaging is tampered, you can raise your alarm.
3. Test the item. In cases like this one, you could actually test it before parting your money. However, be wary of cases as seen in this article.
4. Don’t let the goods leave your sight! The swap could happen when you’re not looking, eg “Oh wait, I’ll bring the goods to the back to something”. Yup, you could have tested it and verified that it is a working condition hard disk that just came out of the box BUT they can just swap it at the back and you’ll still have no proof that it’s legitimate.
5. Buy from reputable retail shops.
6. Don’t buy at PC Fair (or any other fair)!! 😀 LOL ok this may sound like I’m Anti-PC Fair but before you draw any conclusion, please read the My Thoughts On PC Fair article. To be fair about the fair – I shouldn’t say “Don’t buy” but rather I should say you should be aware that computer stuff are sold at good price even without PC Fair, and not at PC Fair.
You see, PC Fair is where the general public thinks that computer stuff are the cheapest. This is not true. Just go to places like Lowyat Plaza or Digital Mall PJ and the prices are just as good as PC Fair on ANY given day. Furthermore you need not wrestle your way through the hordes of clueless visitors. It’s pretty much like a hamster cage filled with thousands of hamsters. Everyone going around hunting for the best deal.
The unethical sellers as such, often prey on the clueless visitors’ state of mind that “PC FAIR, GOOD BARGAIN!”. Just give them the price lower than usual, tell them it’s the last unit available – VOILA!! You got their attention, it’s just a matter of whether the person decide to bite the bait.
Take care! Hope all of you learn from this.