Woman tricked into buying fake wooden iPad

Apple's iPad is certainly a popular device and as such it's also a big target for thieves. As it turns out, it can also be used by con men to make some quick bucks from some unsuspecting marks. This week it was reported that a Spartanburg, South Carolina woman was offered a chance to purchase an iPad, only to find out she bought a block of wood with Apple's logo.

The Spartanburg Herald-Journal web site reports that the woman was at a local McDonalds parking lot on Monday night when she was approached by two men who claimed to have purchased a large amount of iPads at a bulk price. They offered to sell her one for $300. The woman said she only had $180 on her, but the men said they would sell her the iPad for that amount. She received a FedEx box from the two men, one of several kept in the car. However, the woman found out the truth only when she got back home later that night and opened the FedEx box to discover the worthless block of wood. The two con men are still at large.

While it's becoming a more common practice to have these kind of scams happen via online transactions, this case proves that old fashioned face-to-face con men can still victimize people when given a chance. Law enforcement officials say that if a person is approached by men with a similar offer they should always ask to open the box and examine the product before paying any money.

Image via Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office

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116 Comments

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negroplasty said,
what a dumbass, I'm surprised she even noticed it wasn't real.

Yeah haha... "Hello, is that Apple customer services? I've just got a new iPad and it won't sync.. I'm not sure what's wrong."

It's unfortunate that she trusted them so easily. You'd think that just about anyone would have the sense to check the things they buy unless they bought it from a trusted source (e.g. retail stores, friends, etc).

I wonder how many times she had to spread her legs to earn that kind of money. I can't imagine any other way in which she could have earnt it.

well for some that they can carry 180 quid around with them and give it away to strangers without even as much as a care and not bother to check before she buys, and don't give me that she cant, it's a parking lot, she can do what she wants, the customer should be in control, they want her money, she was just stupid and got burnt for it, glad for her. Maybe next time she will remember to take her brain with her.

Holy ****, that's only 15 minutes from where I live. Wickeddddd! People tend to be ignorant around here...unfortunately.

"Law enforcement officials say that if a person is approached by men with a similar offer they should always ask to open the box and examine the product before paying any money."

Shouldn't law enforcement officials be telling people to not buy electronics in a parking lot at all, because they're probably stolen goods?!

From the article:

Both men were described in the report as black, and one had a gold tooth. They were driving a white Chevrolet Impala.

I'm sure that'll narrow down the search...

I am seeing a lot of comments like "Only in America", I commented above "Stupidity, ignorance, and gullibility doesn't care about lines on a map."

The fact that someone from another country other then "America" would make a comment like that proves my point entirely. If you believe that stuff like this doesn't happen in your country then you are completely ignorant of the real world. Because the facts are this happens every day across the globe.

xendrome said,
I am seeing a lot of comments like "Only in America", I commented above "Stupidity, ignorance, and gullibility doesn't care about lines on a map."

The fact that someone from another country other then "America" would make a comment like that proves my point entirely. If you believe that stuff like this doesn't happen in your country then you are completely ignorant of the real world. Because the facts are this happens every day across the globe.

While I agree with your comment, I find it rather pathetic at the amount of people piping in to state the blinding obvious. When someone posts such nonsense, does it even warrant a reply or explanation?

sava700 said,
Sorry but this is stupid and she deserved it... OPEN THE BOX AND INSPECT PRODUCT!!!

If she were to of opened the box, she probably would have been killed on the stop.

One of my workers (who isn't the brightest bulb in the lamp) got smacked by something similar to this with an HP laptop. He got duped by some crack addict late at night and didn't even think to check until after he handed over his $100 and let the guy take off. He paid for a couple of garbage books in an HP box.

Hey buy this ipad i have in my car, 300. - - I only have 180 on me. - - Deal - - Here's a fedex box, cya. Too easy... sad story.

whenever i purchase something from a person rather than a business i always open and test the product prior to handing over my money.

Well, sure it is, even the Android fans won't deny it, but Android brings something which Apple never can: a choice in hardware.

As for the OS and the apps, Apple is in a comfortable position, till Microsoft arrives.

APAzero7 said,
Who carries $180 cash to McDonald's and hangs out in the parking lot at night?

$180 isn't exactly a lot of money. That is a good night as a waiter/waitress. Half a days wages at a professional job. Also, some people prefer to go into fast food joints vs drive through so it is just a matter of being stopped in the parking lot on the way to/from your car.

ILikeTobacco said,

$180 isn't exactly a lot of money. That is a good night as a waiter/waitress. Half a days wages at a professional job. Also, some people prefer to go into fast food joints vs drive through so it is just a matter of being stopped in the parking lot on the way to/from your car.
I was mostly kidding, but I guess i never thought of tip money, but still most professionals get paid by check, and deposit them in banks. I rarely carry cash anywhere, and $20 at most if i do, bank cards are just more convenient

There was a scam like this going on here a few years ago, but it was "notebooks" the guys were selling. Ended up being wooden blocks as well. At least in the case here, they were packaging the blocks in original laptop packaging that appeared to have the security tape intact, not generic FedEx boxes.

The Gunslinger said,

Like a baguette and a focaccia?

I thought they meant dipping her in egg wash and covering her in breadcrumbs myself.

Like tarring and feathering, only more delicious.

the first red flag should of been a couple guys with a stock of "iPads" they got in a parking lot....

and seriosuly guys, all these only in America comments? Maybe you should look into what happens in your own countries too.... when you say only in america it makes you sound very out of the loop on what might go on around the world....

Good for the two guys. More power to them.

Get some street smarts people. If you purchase something from the street, make sure you inspect and power on the product before you purchase it.

Hopefully she learned her lesson. *Knock on wood

UndergroundWire said,
Good for the two guys. More power to them.

No. Her learning a lesson does not justify their dishonesty and crime. Period.

heh, if they came up to me I would take them to task about selling the stuff on ebay if its such a good price. I think they would be paying me to go away

jingarelho said,
when you want to have everything for half the price, things like this are sure to happen.
Yup, and somehow they bought it in a bulk larger than that of BestBuy, Walmart and Amazon, since they were selling it much cheaper than them.

Was the woman in question mentally retarded? Must be... At least I have one more American joke to tell my friends.

.Neo said,
Was the woman in question mentally retarded? Must be... At least I have one more American joke to tell my friends.

Because it only happens in America? I got one more retarded joke to tell my friends...

Lucas said,

Because it only happens in America? I got one more retarded joke to tell my friends...
lol at all the users replying to such comments to protect their american pride...

.Neo said,
Was the woman in question mentally retarded? Must be... At least I have one more American joke to tell my friends.

Le smug.

AMPSV said,
dumb woman & American too :

The only word of relevance in your post is "dumb".

Statistically speaking, there are just as many dumb men as women (as a percentage of each group) and every country has an equal percentage of them.

Dan~ said,
America? Yes = Not Suprised

Guess what? There are gullible and stupid people everywhere in every country.

It's just that in America, they might have enough money on hand to get ripped off like this. 8P

I actually feel sympathy for her. Two guys took advantage of her ignorance, and some people still go for the "too good to be true", after all, who doesn't want to find a good business? It's a common for some people to fall for it. Happens everywhere.

MidnightDevil said,
I actually feel sympathy for her. Two guys took advantage of her ignorance, and some people still go for the "too good to be true", after all, who doesn't want to find a good business? It's a common for some people to fall for it. Happens everywhere.

And now she has learned her lesson so that she won't fall for something like it again... Hopefully anyway.

MidnightDevil said,
I actually feel sympathy for her. Two guys took advantage of her ignorance, and some people still go for the "too good to be true", after all, who doesn't want to find a good business? It's a common for some people to fall for it. Happens everywhere.

I think that the women should have realised that it was too good to be true. Either the iPads were stolen, in which case she knowingly bought stolen goods, or they were fake/broken. In any case, she should have checked the box first.

No sympathy for the victim. If she's dumb enough to buy something from 2 strangers on a parking lot, late at night, she deserves to be victimised. Obviously, I do not condone the activities these 2 guys engage in, but people really need to gain some intelligence, and use some common sense once in a while.

If someone selling something like this at mcdonalds wasn't a dead giveaway of it being a fake, the price they first asked, then accepted should have been. Cause anyone should know you never get an apple product at a reasonable price.

Blackhearted said,
If someone selling something like this at mcdonalds wasn't a dead giveaway of it being a fake, the price they first asked, then accepted should have been. Cause anyone should know you never get an apple product at a reasonable price.

Considering how competitors have a hard time meeting the price of the iPad or the Macbook Air while maintaining similar specs and build quality it would seem like they are more than reasonably priced...

However, as you said two guys at McDonalds selling iPads for $300 and even accepting 180$ for it should be a dead give away
same is true no matter the product if they are willing to undercut prices that much...

Leonick said,

Considering how competitors have a hard time meeting the price of the iPad or the Macbook Air while maintaining similar specs and build quality it would seem like they are more than reasonably priced... .

Actually, every competitor to the iPad or any Macbook has superior hardware specifications. In the case of the macbooks, for a much cheaper price as well. In the case of tablets, they cost the same or more with modern processors, extra ram, more storage space, etc. etc.

The iPad (and I own one) is just using already outdated iPod touch guts inside a case with a much larger screen. And then it fills the rest with a whole lotta batteries.

But to claim they use components that are comparable with much more advanced and modern gear is ludicrous. Apple almost always uses 2 years old tech so they have less to worry about heat, have smaller parts (so more design flexibility), can use much cheaper parts (yet still charge a premium price, means more profit) etc. etc.

In short, the reason competitors have trouble matching the low end iPad price is they wouldn't be caught dead shoveling that kind of antiquated tech in a pretty wrapper.

But that was a smart move by Apple, since they've made real money on that big iPod touch toy. 8)

luckyarcher said,
Why did they bother to cut a paper Apple on a block of wood?

An offer she can't refuse!!

And a courtesy they can't forget!!

I feel no sympathy for the woman. I don't condone what the guys did, but seriously - she took them at face value, two guys selling a "job lot" of iPads in a McDonalds? Her own greed and stupidity was the reason she lost out, and deservedly so.

njlouch said,
I feel no sympathy for the woman. I don't condone what the guys did, but seriously - she took them at face value, two guys selling a "job lot" of iPads in a McDonalds? Her own greed and stupidity was the reason she lost out, and deservedly so.

That last line of your post is an understatement and a half!!

She's obviously a totally dumb c**t!! I can't believe there are really people this stupid or gullible in the world?!

Almost makes me hope those guys get away with this!!

njlouch said,
I feel no sympathy for the woman. I don't condone what the guys did, but seriously - she took them at face value, two guys selling a "job lot" of iPads in a McDonalds? Her own greed and stupidity was the reason she lost out, and deservedly so.

Agreed, but we should all kindly thank her for making us all feel so superior today!

nonick said,
"The two con men are still at large."

good god! Call the FBI! CALL NATIONAL SECURITY!!!

Good heavens!!

That still would be a better use of our police force than harassing harmless potheads...

Gee, we'd better start being careful!

Last time I bought an electronic item in a McDonald's car park for a third of its retail price without actually seeing it first or checking the box until I got home, it worked out just fine!

T1Famous said,
Only in America

Actually this happens a lot in the UK too. Usually it's "Italian" men just traveling home from a "sales conference" up North, and they have a large consignment of goods they "have to sell" 'cus they cannot take abroad due to cost etc.

I've had them approach me in Tesco car park trying to sell me carpets before. I simply told them "No!"

Anyone parting with money like this without checking what they're "buying" deserves to be fleeced.

artnada said,

Actually this happens a lot in the UK too. Usually it's "Italian" men just traveling home from a "sales conference" up North, and they have a large consignment of goods they "have to sell" 'cus they cannot take abroad due to cost etc.

I've had them approach me in Tesco car park trying to sell me carpets before. I simply told them "No!"

Anyone parting with money like this without checking what they're "buying" deserves to be fleeced.

I tend to agree.

While I think the con men themselves deserve to be prosecuted, at the end of the day you must know you are probably buying fake or stolen goods. If an offer is 'too good to be true' it usually is.

If someone asks for £x but you only have £y on you, and they easily accept this lesser amount, that in itself is a massive warning sign. If they had honestly bought the item at a cheaper price they'd still have minimum value they need to sell it at.

I remember someone buying a cheap TV off a random person in a van who pulled up to us whilst working outside. He took it home, plugged it in and found nothing. Upon opening up there was nothing but heavy material inside.
People thinking they can get knocked off gear at a low price only to get their fingers burnt is always good to read imo. Time to start paying honest money for honest gear like 99% of the population.

artnada said,

Actually this happens a lot in the UK too. Usually it's "Italian" men just traveling home from a "sales conference" up North, and they have a large consignment of goods they "have to sell" 'cus they cannot take abroad due to cost etc.

I've had them approach me in Tesco car park trying to sell me carpets before. I simply told them "No!"

Anyone parting with money like this without checking what they're "buying" deserves to be fleeced.

Oh dang that happened to me a few months ago, here in the US a guy from italy claiming exactly what you said, but I didn't fall for it and told him to fok off lol

MASTER260 said,

Is she allowed to before purchase?
If you're not allowed to open the box, especially a FedEx box, before a purchase then that should be fair enough warning that something suspicious is going on.

AdamLC said,
Owned! She didn't think to check first?!?

Thats why you should always do COD, cash on delivery, meaning verify what you're buying before you dish out any cash. Just sounds like common sense to me, but some of us aren't street wise.