Counterfeiting products and passing them off as genuine is nothing new. In this day and age, this practice continues to live on across online second-hand shopping platforms where anyone can become a merchant and sell their goods. And in an unusual case, a merchant on a used goods platform from China appears to be selling counterfeit Samsung 980 Pro SSDs so fake that they can even fool Samsung's Magician software into thinking they're genuine.
The customer that got ripped off purchased the fake Samsung 980 Pro 2TB SSD from a merchant on Xianyu. Once the customer got the SSD shipped to their mailbox, it took them ten days to get a hold of their PC and test their new drive. And once they tested their newly-purchased used SSD through the Samsung Magician software, they realized something was off.
According to sources (via Tom's Hardware), the buyer that got ripped off realized that the read and write speeds recorded by the Samsung Magician software were below those advertised by the Korean tech giant. And upon further inspection of the hardware, they realized that the SSD was fake, even though Samsung's software supposedly recognized it as genuine.
Fake Samsung 980 Pro SSD shipped in genuine box
One reason it took the buyer this long to realize that they got scammed into buying a fake Samsung 980 Pro SSD is that the product shipped in a seemingly genuine retail package.
More so, the SSD looked the part. It had all the stickers in all the right places, and only after peeling off the stickers did the buyer start seeing differences between a genuine 980 Pro SSD and what they thought was legitimate.
The fake SSD used a Maxio MAP1602A PCIe 4.0 SSD controller (12nm) instead of the 8nm Elpis controller used by genuine 980 Pro SSDs. Furthermore, the fake SSD used YMTC 128-layer TLC 3D NAND chips instead of Samsung's 128-layer TLC 3D V-NAND. Hence, the fake product was underperforming.
Unfortunately, despite these components that shouldn't be there, Samsung's Magician software couldn't detect the counterfeit SSD, likely due to custom firmware designed to fool Samsung's official tool. Samsung could perhaps update the software with better detection capabilities against fake hardware, but regardless, it's much safer to buy hardware from the OEM or official retail partners.
Samsung often sells its SSDs at reduced prices, and right now, you can buy the 980 Pro 2TB for $159 instead of $249. And once you learn that the counterfeit Samsung SSD reportedly sold for $127, you'll probably quickly realize that it just wasn't worth the risk and hassle.