Scammers Selling GPU & Memory-Less Graphics Cards In China, Most Cases Reported With GeForce RTX 4090 Cards

Consumers in China are being scammed by receiving graphics cards without any GPU onboard & most cases are reported with the RTX 4090.

New Ways of GPU Frauds Have Started to Emerge in China, As Tricksters Sell Graphics Cards Without Any GPUs Onboard

According to an incident reported by the Chinese media outlet HKPEC, a customer who was looking for NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 4090 in Hong Kong, became a victim of rather “surprising” fraud, where not only did he lose around HK$13,000 or US $1660, but the individual got a GPU which was lacking an entire GPU, and rather had just third-party components installed into it. This is the first time we have seen such a fraud incident being reported, but it won’t take long before this scam gets widely adopted in Chinese markets, and we will answer why later on.

Diving into the crux, the consumer, reportedly going by the name of Mr.Hong, came forward to HKEPC to report the incident, since apparently, he didn’t see cooperation from any of the local authorities after putting forward his case. Mr.Hong was on the lookout for a used NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090, when he saw an individual selling the MSI’s variant for a decent price at the “Carousell” marketplace in Hong Kong. Upon purchasing the GPU and then returning to his home, Mr.Hong inserted the GPU into his computer and saw that the ARGB lights were on, but the GPU wasn’t functioning at all.

China’s Reseller Market is flooded with disassembled RTX 4090 coolers and bare PCBs that once powered $1600US+ gaming cards (Image Source: Chiphell Forums):

Further inquiring, Mr.Hong realized that the GPU was completely unresponsive, and upon tearing it down, he noticed that the graphics card had its essential components removed and the onboard PCB was also a bogus one. The buyer was deceived by the seller in the trade and despite being a victim, local authorities refused to cooperate with Mr.Hong, since they believed that following up a second-hand transaction was a difficult task to do. We have also seen similar reports at Tieba Baidu.

While this is the first time such an incident has surfaced, we might probably see similar stories, considering the state of the GPU markets in China and surrounding businesses. Since the US Government has banned the sale of NVIDIA’s flagship Ada GPUs in China, scammers might leverage this by selling the GeForce RTX 4090s at prices that would attract consumer interest.

Furthermore, Chinese factories had already been repurposing a huge stock of gaming GeForce RTX 4090 GPUs into AI solutions. To achieve this, vital components such as the GPU and the Memory dies are removed and shifted to a new PCB that is designed to accommodate a dual-slot blower-style cooler that fits the requirements of AI servers.


This renders the existing coolers and PCBs entirely useless and we have seen these coolers/PCBs being sold off at really low prices, around $20-$50 US a piece. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to attach the cooler to a matching PCB and connect the fan/RGB wires in their respective headers which can show the card to be operational but the display is lacking since there’s no onboard GPU or memory.

We advise readers from the region to stay away from marketplaces such as Carousell if you are looking for a new GPU, and rather opt for official channels, or at least those where you can physically check the product. If you want an NVIDIA GeForce RTC 4090 GPU in China, then the RTX 4090D is coming to retail soon so it’s better to wait for that rather than being scammed into buying a GPU-less graphics card.

News Source: HKEPC

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