Incidents of fraud in the memory channel appear to be on the rise as surging prices make it an increasingly attractive target for criminals.
One memory distributor, who wished to remain anonymous, said he was recently targeted in a £20,000 scam, but fortunately discovered the cheque was stolen before making delivery of the goods.
The same company had previously taken two resellers for £7,000 and £10,000, he said.
Average unit prices of DRAM have doubled over the past year and the technology is easy to sell on.
“There seem to be more people trying it on at the moment,” the source said.
“Fraudsters originally targeted ink cartridges and memory, and then moved on to digital cameras and laptops. But it has now come full circle.”
Holger Kuhn, EMEA business unit manager for memory at Bell Micro, agreed that the sector had become a target for criminals, especially counterfeiters.
“The deepest prices on 2GB memory sticks were $16-17 (£10-£10.80), and now they are at $40-42,” he said. “It now makes sense to produce fake goods.”
Ann Keefe, regional director of UK & Ireland at Kingston Technology, confirmed that the memory vendor did experience cases of fraud “from time to time”.
She warned channel firms to be on their guard.
“These companies are very good at covering their tracks,” she said.
“Follow your instincts and if it does not feel right, then start to work on cash with order or credit card payment until a trading history is established.”
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