Million dollar GPU counterfeiting ring busted by Chinese police

Police raid of fake GPU warehouse.
(Image credit: Bincheng Police)

Chinese police have arrested 22 people in connection with selling counterfeit GPUs at online retailers. 

Police from Binzhou City, located in the Bincheng district of China, raided a warehouse of a gang suspected of acquiring old GPUs from cryptomining rigs, cleaning and repackaging them for sale as new. This is the result of a reported year-long investigation (via Videocardz).

According to the police, it was an elaborate operation involving several different crews, each responsible for various tasks. One team 'acquired' the GPUs, another was charged with cleaning and testing them, and another group packaged and labelled them to appear brand new. Of course, a team was also responsible for selling the counterfeit products.

Since the end of the crypto mining boom, the second-hand market, especially in China, has been flooded with used GPUs. Many of these GPUs suffered tremendous wear and tear from 24/7 mining, sometimes drastically affecting their performance and definitely their resale value.

Victims wouldn't realise until it was too late that they'd paid full price for GPUs listed as new, but that were worth just a fraction of the cost. Some scammers have even gone as far as repainting GPUs and passing them off as new

Of the 22 arrests, only seven individuals are facing criminal charges. Police claim the value of the bogus GPUs involved in their criminal case is estimated at over $2 million USD.

There's also a possibility some counterfeit GPUs have made their way to US retailers, so exercising caution is advised when shopping for a new graphics card from a third-party seller. As a rule of thumb, if the price for a new GPU feels too good to be true, you're probably right.


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Jorge Jimenez
Hardware writer, Human Pop-Tart

Jorge is a hardware writer from the enchanted lands of New Jersey. When he's not filling the office with the smell of Pop-Tarts, he's reviewing all sorts of gaming hardware, from laptops with the latest mobile GPUs to gaming chairs with built-in back massagers. He's been covering games and tech for over ten years and has written for Dualshockers, WCCFtech, Tom's Guide, and a bunch of other places on the world wide web.