Recent raids in China have resulted in the arrest of 22 persons and the seizure of millions of dollars worth of items from a graphics card ring that engaged in fraudulent activity. ITHome and VideoCardz discovered the Bincheng police department’s social media posts about the raid. Seven of the original 22 were taken into custody. The graphics cards and other items were worth more than 15 million Chinese Yuan, according to the police report (around $2 million in current USD).
Since the collapse of the cryptocurrency mining industry, counterfeit GPUs made in China have become increasingly common, especially in international markets.
Since the downfall of Crypto Mining, Repackaged GPUs have been on the Rise
The company’s forte was in buying used graphics cards, refurbishing them (including cleaning and repackaging), and then selling them once again as brand new.
The organization’s functioning was fairly high-tech. A whole industry sprung up to acquire secondhand GPUs. People were assigned to sort, clean, and test the components of the cards after they were received. The individuals tasked with rebranding the previously used cards were next in line. A sales staff arrived at the end to make sales of the products.
If not for the deceptive rebranding and packaging, the collective may have had a chance at becoming authentic. That would have severely reduced their potential earnings but prevented them from ending up in jail.
Since the Bitcoin craze, purchasing old graphics cards has become more of a gamble. There are likely a lot of very recent and potent graphics cards out there that have been trying to mine. Even though it’s been less than a year, it’s easy to forget that mining Ethereum was feasible at all.
There have been a number of reports indicating that second-hand mining graphics cards are far more problematic than brand-new ones. Sellers don’t even seem to care, as many of them are jet washed and sold in bulk on the sidewalk. Buyers will not receive warranty coverage from the affiliated brand or as claimed on the resealed package, which is similar to the situation with many used items not guaranteed by a manufacturer.