The Infrared Memory Card Scam

A friend of mine lives abroad, near the Mediterranean. He often sees the local people trying to scam the droves of tourists who come and stay for their two week holidays but he hadn’t seen this one before –


Some of the more popular destinations for holidaymakers looking to find a bargain are the electronics shops where products are much cheaper than they are here in the UK.

The local shopkeepers have found an ingenious new way of parting these customers from their money.



The potential victim will be grabbed on the street by someone who wants to look at their digital camera and wants to know whether they have an infrared or regular memory card.

When the victim predictably replies that they have a regular one the person will drag them into a nearby storeso that they can demonstrate the difference.

Of course, they will make it clear that there is no need to buy anything!

That Fuzzy Feeling

After complimenting the victim on their excellent camera the scammer will hook it up to a tv, transfer a few pictures onto the victim’s own memory card, and then show how the images look really awful – all murky and fuzzy.

As you may have already guessed, the next step is for the shopkeeper to then swap to their ‘infrared card’, repeat the process and, surprise, surprise, then demonstrate that the images are then much brighter and clearer.

If the potential victim tries to protest that the card just stores the image and can in no way affect how the image looks (assuming the card isn’t faulty of course) then the shopkeeper is likely to reply that it is technical stuff that the victim is unlikely to understand.

What’s The Scam?

The scam is to get the victim to part with anywhere up to $300 for a 512 Mb SDRam!

Typically these retail for just $20 or maybe even less.

If the victim chooses to haggle based upon that then the scammer will maybe half the price whilst reminding the victim that those cheap inferior models are not infrared!

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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