Nairobi News

NewsWhat's Hot

Fake hard drives the latest con game in Nairobi

By HILARY KIMUYU September 5th, 2015 2 min read

There appears to be a humorous story doing the rounds on several social media platforms. You are probably all too familiar with some retailers in town selling portable electronics at unbelievably low prices.

Be careful, cheap, they say, is expensive. The latest hoax on the streets of Nairobi involves the sale of fake external hard drives by unscrupulous dealers.

A number of Nairobians have fallen for this trick and purchased what appear to be 500 GB Samsung external hard drives, albeit with a few typos on the case, at extremely cheap prices.

The gadgets are, infact, made up of a small PCB (Printed Circuit Board) with a 128 MB USB flash chip hinged between two bolts inside a metallic casing.

The external appearance of fake Hard drives that some conmen are selling in Nairobi.
The external appearance of fake Hard drives that some conmen are selling in Nairobi.


For its close resemblance to genuine Samsung hard drives and its dead weight, its very easy for anyone to believe that this is a genuine product, as was the case for a friend of this writer who was conned by dealers in a computer shop of dubious legitimacy.

The first signs of trouble for this particular buyer arose when he attempted to store heavy files in the gadget. The drive would hold only the last few minutes of a copied movie file, for instance.

So he took his “broken” hard drive to his local computer shop to have it checked out. Imagine how much of a laugh the techies had when they opened up the drive to find two bolts glued in!

The controller was made to report a 500 GB capacity and copy files in a loop when it reached past 128 MB. On the upside, 128 MB is enough for a few documents or even a Linux distribution.

So, next time you are in need of an external hard drive go to a recommended retailer and you won’t regret paying the extra penny.