All it takes is one slip-up or dishonest staff, anywhere in the supply chain, for counterfeits to sneak into ostensibly reputable products.
Get a genuine FTDI chip (FT232RL) from reputable vendor (mouser in USA). Find a friend with hot air rework station. Replace chip. Keep fake chip for soldering practice. That's pretty much what I did. And I now own a rework station myself.
These Nano boards DO NOT have the FTDI chip!!!
Initially I thought it was some other fault until I realised that what was coming back was NON GENUINE DEVICE FOUND! For every character I sent, the same number of characters of that message was coming back.So if I send a 26 character test message, the full NON GENUINE DEVICE FOUND! comes back!