You've probably seen it before on television or in a movie: The main character is faced with his or her best friend, as well as an evil identical twin, and telling the two apart is proving difficult, if not impossible. You'd hope that the protagonist eventually makes the right choice, but when it comes to one easily counterfeited product, often the opposite is true.
Have you ever bought an SD memory card that just stopped working fairly soon after you bought it? Well, it might have been something besides a defective product - think "evil twin" - and electronic retailers could be getting burned by counterfeiters mass-distributing the fake cards.
Fake SD cards proliferate online retail listings
Businesses buying SD cards in bulk should be aware of the counterfeiting network alive and well in the electronics industry. SD cards are easy to alter, and criminals have found a great way to make fast cash distributing knock-off memory cards . Recently we discussed examples of fake children's toys, like a pairing of South Park and Mickey Mouse, that had no chance at being real, but in the case of SD cards, discerning which product is a fake is much more difficult.
How counterfeiters are distributing knock-off SD cards
The Counterfeit Report recently published findings that indicate many of the SD cards purchased online are actually fake products, identical to the real thing. Problems with the memory cards are often blamed on the manufacturer, rather than attributed to the possibility of counterfeiting. Both the cards and the packaging they're stored in are fairly consistent with the real thing, which makes it nearly impossible for the average business or consumer to figure out the product is a fake.
Generally, there are issues with product authenticity when you start looking at SD cards with a storage capacity of 32GB or higher. Counterfeiters simply rewrite the memory capacity of 7GB cards, giving the false illusion of a large size, and place them in the appropriate packaging for the altered card. Users can't tell that their 32GB card actually only stores up to 7GB, and the act of counterfeiting is difficult to discover or trace back to the criminals.
Eighty percent of all memory sold online could be fake.
The Counterfeit Report noted that up to 80 percent of all memory devices sold online could be fake. Purchasing fake SD cards in bulk and then distributing them to customers can ultimately be a blow to a business' reputation, whether or not it was known that the memory devices were fake. Rather than making the mistake of purchasing a bunch of counterfeited SD cards, retailers should ensure product authenticity prior to purchasing memory devices to ensure that the right products are making to customers. Often, such as in the case of SD cards, knock-off products are everywhere, and purchasing counterfeits is never good for business.
Valerie Finn is OpSec's Director of Brand Protection. She has over 8 years experience in devising and executing brand protection strategies for global corporations to proactively minimize risk and maximize brand equity against Counterfeiting, Gray Market Diversion, Intellectual Property Infringement, and Online Brand Abuse. Her career has spanned multiple industries including Telecommunications, Corporate Compliance & Governance, and Intellectual Property & Trademark Management.