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How to Avoid Scam Hard Drive Recovery Services


Lately we have been seeing a lot of malicious scam data recovery companies.
This is how the scam works.
1. They advertise heavy on Google. If you see the word “Sponsored” they are paying at least $25/click to Google to be in that position.
2. They have many mail forwarding places around the country. Use Google Street View and make sure you see where your are shipping your drive. If you see a UPS Store, Walgreen or a building without any sign outside you know it is fake. A Regus virtual office never has a sign outside. Even a little family owned pizza shop has a sign outside. Are they telling you they are such a big company and their name is nowhere to be found outside?
3. You ship them your drive and the mail forwarding company over night ships your drive out of the USA.
4. Now they have your data and they know you will pay thousands of dollars to get it back.
5. If the recovery is easy they will recover the data to their server and send you a directory listing and quote which normally exceeds $3,000.
6. If you request your drive back they will demagnetize and send it back only if you pay a $500 evaluation fee.
7. If you send other real Data Recovery Companies nobody will be able to recover it.
8. Either you pay the scam company what they are asking or you get no data.
9. Even if you do not pay them they have all your personal data and they will find other means to get money out of you.
10. You can’t report them to law enforcement because they are located in a country with no extradition treaty with USA.

Data Recovery
1825 Forest Ave
Staten Island, NY 10303
A common scam is they find a small cell phone store or computer repair store willing to take your drive and ship to their scam recovery company. The small store is being paid hundreds of dollars for each job they mail to them. Most likely the Xtreme Cell Phone store is being paid to ship all Data Recovery jobs out of the USA

Owner provided picture of inside.

The room above is too big to fit in the building above.
Are they even working on hard drives? I don’t see any in the picture. No parts drives. No Data Recovery Programs or machines to do data recovery. No tools to remove screws, no head combs. The machine in the RIGHT has an old 50Pin SCSII connector last used in 1995
The guy on the right is debugging electronics in a clean room?? You can’t work on electronics in a clean room. Soldering and hot air rework makes smoke that will contaminate any clean room. You need flux to solder which will also contaminate everything.

Newark Data Recovery
361 Bergen St
Newark, NJ 07103

Get your Data Recovery and Prescriptions filled in the same building!!!

Is the Data Recovery Company Real or a Re-seller?

A good way to tell if it is a drop ship place is to call them up and ask if you can bring it to their place and if they will debug it while you wait and show you their data recovery equipment. If they say no, you know they are just a drop ship place.

There are many Data Recovery places that rent office space and have a receptionist and a smart sounding salesman up front. They claim they do the data recovery in the back room. The fact is they will never show you the back room because it does not exist.

I visited a Data Recovery company in East Rutherford, NJ
They had the sign below. There was a very friendly lady at the desk. I asked to talk to a data recovery engineer. She picked up the phone to call him. I said no I want him to come out in front so I can talk to him him. She said he was very busy and can’t come out. I asked to see their back room where they do the data recovery but she refused to bring me there. She tried her best to get me tl leave my hard drive. I just left because I knew she will ship it somewhere and would not tell me where.

A virtual office can be rented for as little as $99.00/month.

This includes a nice building, a secretary to answer your phone and forward your packages.

The best way to detect this is to search their street address in Google followed by “office space”. If a virtual office space company pops up, you know the address is not real.

Your hard drive is normally shipped by you to the virtual office space.
The virtual office space ships it to the scam recovery company most likely in Pakistan, India or other low labor cost country.

The salesman call you up and gives you a price over $2,000.
The salesman is working from Cancun or other resort area.
The salesmen make over $1,000,000/year.

Data Recovery is a highly specialized field and there are very few people that do it. We are the only Data Recovery Company in North New Jersey that does all recovery work at our New Jersey Location. No job ever leaves our office until it is complete and you pick it up.

Best Buy, Staples, Office Depot and most other big retail chains do not do their own data recovery. They outsource it to real data recovery companies and in many cases double the price.
Kroll Ontrack in Minnesota does the Data Recovery work for Best Buy. Seagate Data Recovery does the Data Recovery work for Staples.
(Just Search on: “who does best buy use for data recovery”)

Many people do not know the difference between PC Repair and Data Recovery. There are over 10,000 PC repair places in the USA but only 23 real data recovery places.

What is the difference between PC Repair and Data Recovery?

Data Recovery works most efficient if all the engineers and equipment are in one building.

If you see many locations you know the location is just a drop ship.

A fancy web site with stock photos of a real data recovery place can be made for a few thousand dollars.
If the place is local, drive to the place and have them show you all the fancy equipment you see in their photos.

Some salesmen make $1,000 or more per recovery and they don’t ever have to touch the drive.
If the real recovery place charges them $375, they charge their customer $2,375.

Yes we are real and we will not overcharge you!

Most of the pictures on this site were taken at our location in Watchung NJ.

Yes you can bring your drive in for a free estimate while you wait.

We will show you our recovery equipment and previous jobs we recovered.


#2. Do They Have Good Reviews?

Google and other search engines provide company reviews.

Just go to Google maps and search on the companies address.

Do you see any reviews?
There is a very common trick many companies do if they get too many negative reviews.
They simply delete their Google local listing and create a new one.
That knocks out all negative reviews and all positive reviews. it basically clears their slate.
Since they are virtual they can even move to a new location in less than an hour.
If the company is real and as big and good as they say they are they should have positive reviews dating back 5 years or more. Do you really think it is possible that nobody reviewed them over the last 5 years? I have seen some bad data recovery companies delete and recreate their listing once a week or as soon as someone leaves them another bad review.
We have all positive reviews going back over 5 years!

You can also search on the name of the company followed by the word “scam”.

#3. Do They Have to Pay $25 Per Click?

Google charges about $25/click for top position for the term “Data Recovery Services”.
The top three boxes and all the boxes to the right on Google are pay per click advertising.
Why do they have to pay $25/click to get your business?
How can they afford that? When they are charging $3,500 per job it is OK to pay $500 in advertising to get that customer. We get most of our customers by word of mouth. We are also the top non paid ad on Google if you search for Data Recovery in New Jersey. We got to that position just by being around so long. We pay nothing on advertising.
Below is the monthly budget for some of our top competitors
others ad cost

How to find the best hard drive recovery service

#4 Do They do Level III Data recovery?

Level I recovery is simple to do. Most computer repair shops can do it. It normally involves running data recovery software on your drive. If the software works you get your data back. If it does not work they tell you your data is “Unrecoverable”.
Level II recovery normally requires a $12,000 machine to do. They hook your drive to their machine and click a few buttons. If they can’t get anything off of it, you drive is Unrecoverable.
Level III Is the most difficult. The hard drive has to be repaired. It requires special tools and a expert knowledge on how a hard drive works. There are very few people in the US that are able to do this. It is much like finding a heart surgeon.
The danger in sending a drive that requires Level III recovery to a company that only does Level I or Level II recovery is that they can destroy your drive and make it so nobody can recover data from it. The first shot is the best shot at recovering your data. If your drive is dying and someone runs data recovery software on it the drive could crash before they recover much and many times when a hard drive crashes the heads will start scratching your disk. A simple way to find a level III company is to tell them you dropped your 3TB drive and it is clicking. If they refuse to take your job you know they do not know how to fix hard drives. One warning; there are some places that charge “evaluation fees”. These companies will say they can recover anything because they live on evaluation fees and rarely recover anything.

We recover the most difficult drives. If we can’t do it you pay NOTHING!


#5. Do They Have Fair Prices?

Price is the most difficult thing to get out of any data recovery company.

There can be 1,000 things wrong with your hard drive.
They can run from easy to impossible.
A typical recovery will run between 1 and 8 man-hours plus up to about 2 weeks of machine time to extract your data, plus parts.

Some companies charge you $1,000 per hour for some High School kid to work on your drive.
(We charge $100/hour for an Engineer and $20/day for a computer)

Some charge by how desperate you are for the data.
If they do not ask you many questions of what is wrong with the drive and lots of questions on what you lost and when was your last backup, you know they will give you prices equal to your desperation.

Some companies show a fixed low price but “Cherry Pick” the jobs they do.
This means they only do the easy jobs.
Many places put a time limit on how long they spend on your job.
They pull the plug at 20% and try to sell to you at full price.

You must also read their “fine print” because they have many “extra costs”.

We will cost you less than the $300 data recovery places!

Don’t send it to any place that gives you a large range quote (i.e. $250 to $2500).
You must talk directly with an engineer (not a sales person) and they should be able to give you a much closer range depending on the symptoms you describe before you send it.
Ask them how many hours it will take to recover your data and their hourly rate.
If you don’t do this, you will be paying $2,500 no matter what the failure.

We are not afraid to show you our prices. Please visit our Price Page
How many other companies will tell you a price on their web site without a salesman talking to you first?

How to Find The Top Data Recovery Company

The large data recovery companies tend to pay more attention to hard drives from other large companies. To most large companies a charge under $1,000 is unheard-of. They are always charged and always willing to pay $1,000 or more no matter how simple the failure is. A home user or someone from a small company is normally pushed behind any of the big paying jobs. If your job is taking a lot of time and you are not paying that much, there is a good chance they will pull the plug on your job and tell you it is “unrecoverable” when it is not.

The problem with small companies is they may not have all the equipment needed to do a high quality data recover job. Some data recovery equipment cost over $20,000 per machine. Some companies do not do the more complex jobs. They may do level 1 and level 2 recoveries but not level 3. These places advertise $99, $199, $299 or $399 prices but they don’t do the more complex jobs like head replacement. The Level one $99 people will just run data recovery software on your hard drive. If they can’t get your data, they simply say it is unrecoverable and return it to you. The danger with this is if your drive is failing, just simply running data recovery software on your drive will make it worse. We have received many drives that were reading when it was given to the level 1 people but crashed while running their software. Sometimes it crashes so bad that the disk gets scratched making the drive unrecoverable by all other data recovery companies.

If one of your heads are reading poorly on your drive the level 1 places will simply not recover the data from that head giving you a very poor recovery. We replace the bad heads before they crash and have a much better recovery.

#7. Does the Company Have Custom Equipment and a Large supply of Parts?

No hard drive manufacturer sell any parts for their hard drives. If a part is required to fix your hard drive the only place to get it from is a exact matching hard drive to yours. Sometimes the hardest part of a data recovery job is finding matching parts. It is very important that the hard drive company you select have a huge inventory of parts drives


We have thousands of parts drives. Most of these drives are from previous jobs that we recovered There have been may jobs that our competitors have not been able to recover and we recovered only because we had matching parts and they did not. This is a very important item that sets us apart from the other companies. Your drive may be from a limited lot made many years ago.

Parts must be a perfect match to work.
Sometimes matching parts can cost hundreds of dollars.

If the hard drive company can’t find parts for your drive, they can’t recover it.

Some of the Biggest advertising lies:

“We have a 99% success rate”

How is that possible when 20% of the clicking drives that data recovery companies get in look like the drives below?


We sent four drive like you see above to one of those 99% success rates places. They sent them back and said that they can’t recover scratched drive. We asked them about their 99% success rate and they said they recover 99% of the drives they choose to recover and they chose to recover none of ours.

“We have 27 locations in the USA”

The biggest data recovery company in the world has only three locations in the USA. If you check carefully you will find out that 27 of their locations are just mail forwarding services. You send your important hard drive to some unskilled worker who simply repacks it and ships your hard drive to a real Data Recovery Company. The salesman marks up their price 10X.

Data recovery is a complex process that requires hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment and parts plus highly skilled engineers. The engineers work best at one location.

“We Will Recover Your Crashed hard drive in 2 days”

Most hard drives do not read very well after major surgery. There is no way to speed it up no matter what you do. This includes old drives with image fade or head fade. It is not uncommon for us to have hard drives on our imaging machine running 24/7 for days and sometimes weeks. The only way to get you data in under 2 days is to simply pull the plug. That is what many places do that advertise quick service. If only 5% of your files are recovered in 2 days, that is all you get. You pay their full price for 5% and they go to their next job.

Compare our prices with the other companies

Yes you can bring your hard drive to us and we will debug it while you wait and give you a price on the spot. We will even remove the hard drive from your computer and install a new one.

You will talk directly with an engineer and we will show you our equipment and proof that we have successfully recovered thousands of hard drives over the last 19 years.

We have the experience, equipment and knowledge to work on all hard drive failures.
We even have custom made tools that no other company has.

Platter Swap Tool

Head Alignment Tool

Places you should always check.

Better Business Bureau®


Call Data Recovery New Jersey
Talk directly to an engineer

Toll Free 888-548-9399
Local 908-232-5771


Data Recovery NJ

12 New Providence Road

Watchung, NJ 07069

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