Women tricked into paying for fake paper laptop

You would think that news of a woman in Spartanburg, South Carolina being tricked into buying a block of wood that she thought was a iPad would get some attention. But two more women from the same exact city didn't get the memo. The Spartanburg Herald-Journal web site reports that these unidentified women bought what they thought was a laptop from a man in a gas station parking lot on Wednesday. It turned out later to be just some computer paper wrapped up in duct tape.

The police report said that the two women were approached in that parking lot by a man who said he had laptops for sale in his car. He claimed he got them in bulk for a discount. The two woman and the man moved over to another parking lot where another man joined the first. One of the women got $250 from a nearby ATM to pay for the "laptop", which was supposed to be inside a FedEx box. It was only later when the women got home and opened the box that they discovered the computer paper, along with a power cord, inside.

This story is almost a perfect mirror for what happened on Monday in Spartanburg, when a woman was also tricked by men who sold her what they said was an iPad in a McDonald's parking lot. In fact, as she found out later, what she really bought was a block of wood with Apple's logo. Law enforcement officials don't know if this new incident involves the same con men or if it is a copycat. In any case, we will repeat our common sense advice that we gave out earlier this week;  if you are approached by men with a similar offer you should always ask to open the box and examine the product before paying any money.

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57 Comments

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I saw this type of of con on an informative TV show. Conmen actually have very effective magician-like tricks to switch boxes even though you just inspected its content. The point is: don't buy from the back of a car in a parking lot.

WHY do people fall for this kind of scam? Surely its common sense to avoid buying a product before you've seen checked to see if it actually works.

thechronic said,
WHY do people fall for this kind of scam? Surely its common sense to avoid buying a product before you've seen checked to see if it actually works.

That's the problem, a lot of people don't have common sense. And don't call me Shirley.

Probably the same type of people that bought this ride in the left hand lane jabbing away on their cellphone while a rock truck sits directly beside them throwing rocks all over my windshield.

MORONS!

Ok...I'm starting to not believe this news story...

2 people not opening the box till they get home???

How do you not open the box right there in front of the people selling it to you? Why in the world would you take a fedex box from someone that is offering you a laptop for pennies...and wait till you get home to open the box?

Something is fishy here about the news story.

texasghost said,
Ok...I'm starting to not believe this news story...

2 people not opening the box till they get home???

How do you not open the box right there in front of the people selling it to you? Why in the world would you take a fedex box from someone that is offering you a laptop for pennies...and wait till you get home to open the box?

Something is fishy here about the news story.

You're from the south too!

To say that purchasing from a random person in a parking lot is wrong is in itself an understatement, but to make a purchase without inspecting the goods before passing cash? You're just looking to get conned.

I found it funny how they included a power cord with it hahaha.

I'm surprised for the ipad one they didn't put an apple, an eye and a pad in there

Maybe they have a working one in the back of the car and they look at that one and then give they a box with nothing in it
So the people wouldn't think about looking in the box because they are thinking they are getting what was on display.

When you go buy a computer in the store. you mess with the display one and they give you a box and you buy it. Than when you get home you open it. They are pry thinking the same thing here even though it is out of the back of the car.

Car parks, Garages, where ever, doesn't matter. Happens in my country as well, South Africa.
Fact of the matter, people are usually a compassionate species, and its thugs like these that know this and single out these poor people with all the emotional baggage and excuses used to con them with. I have news for them... the wheel turns...
Just my 2c

mate, if your shifty enough to buy a laptop from someone completely random from the street and no even bother to demand it be open up and examined, then you deserve to be scammed, that way, at least you will be more scam aware in the future

Terry_X said,
mate, if your shifty enough to buy a laptop from someone completely random from the street and no even bother to demand it be open up and examined, then you deserve to be scammed, that way, at least you will be more scam aware in the future

She should have made the payment through paypal. Than later at home when the scam would have discovered, she could open a dispute.

jackkk1 said,

She should have made the payment through paypal. Than later at home when the scam would have discovered, she could open a dispute.

It's a random guy on a random parking lot selling fake items, I doubt he accepts PayPal or Credit Cards for that matter. And if she was 'smart' enough (not saying she's stupid as some do here) to think of PayPal she could at least think of opening the box to check the content. It's still risky, it could be a broken laptop which looks fine from the outside...

Starbuck84 said,

It's a random guy on a random parking lot selling fake items, I doubt he accepts PayPal or Credit Cards for that matter. And if she was 'smart' enough (not saying she's stupid as some do here) to think of PayPal she could at least think of opening the box to check the content. It's still risky, it could be a broken laptop which looks fine from the outside...

About paypal..that actually was a joke

Dunno but if it were me anything I bought from a member of the public outside of the normal retail experience I would of thought to check it over once and made sure the item I was given was real before handing over the cash.

Seems somewhat obvious, tho maybe due to hindsight, but I dont feel thats got the biggest part to play here. That honour surely goes to the stupidity.

You can't fix stupid. SC has a reputation for that and it continues with this. C'mon people, get with it! Are you going to be hillbillies all your lives?

Not surprised that this story takes place in the USA. A lot of bone heads over there.

You would of at least think that they would of opened the package and turned on the laptop to see if it works

nukenorman said,
Not surprised that this story takes place in the USA. A lot of bone heads over there.

You would of at least think that they would of opened the package and turned on the laptop to see if it works


here we go again with stupid people doing stupid things. It's depressing how stupid a good chunk of our population is. it is more depressing that I can think of 10 people I know who would easily fall for the same scam.

I mentioned it in the forum thread about the fake iPad, but this kind of scam was big for a while here a few years ago. At least the scammers here were using real laptop boxes that even appeared to have the security tape intact, not simple FedEx boxes. I don't recall if they ever caught the guys doing it though.

roadwarrior said,
I mentioned it in the forum thread about the fake iPad, but this kind of scam was big for a while here a few years ago. At least the scammers here were using real laptop boxes that even appeared to have the security tape intact, not simple FedEx boxes. I don't recall if they ever caught the guys doing it though.

Now their sons continue to run family business.

I was kinda thinking the same thing that FMH was thinking...that it seems to be women who are getting suckered in a technology deal...
*Insert women working buying technology joke here*

i would love more detail on the story... demographics of surrounding area (as I don't live there), type of people involved with the buying - and their character (based on more in depth interview), and you know... a real excuse of how in the world they could have been so silly (dumb) as to get taken like that.

This has happened to one of my friends (I really mean one of my friends) in London. £200 for Sony Vaio. They even opened the box to check and it was fine. However it was skillfully switched the last minute just like magicians do with a box full of potatoes.

littleneutrino said,
why would you not open the box prior to leaving

possability of being shot in the head by the person who sold it to you?

Stewart Gilligan Griffin said,

possability of being shot in the head by the person who sold it to you?

Sounds like an apple store.

Stewart Gilligan Griffin said,

possability of being shot in the head by the person who sold it to you?

haha good one .

littleneutrino said,
why would you not open the box prior to leaving

possibly a bait and switch scenario. They show you a box with an actual working laptop inside it. The article then mentions that the woman went to get the cash from the ATM. during this time, the con man replaces the box with similar looking box later on.

Blackhearted said,
That city seems to be filled with rather stupid women.
You can't blame them, gadgets are hot!

why da [explicit] would you buy a laptop in a gas station parking lot and if that is not a bad enough idea unless u live in an area where u can get a lot of stolen tech and u are used to doing that why would u buy it at a price that is just wayyyy to go to be true

leakAddict said,
Looks like these two entrepreneurs did some market studies and are about to hit it big!!

Big as in, 1 wooden iPad and 1 paper laptop?

FMH said,

Big as in, 1 wooden iPad and 1 paper laptop?

That's what us short-sighted people think about. I'm sure we'll read about more of their brilliant schemes in the future!

leakAddict said,

That's what us short-sighted people think about. I'm sure we'll read about more of their brilliant schemes in the future!

I've got one!

MacBook Air= an empty box.

FMH said,
I've got one!

MacBook Air= an empty box.

I've got 10 Mac Book airs for sale, local McDonalds parking lot. I assure you they are legit, but you can't check in the boxes.

De.Bug said,

I've got 10 Mac Book airs for sale, local McDonalds parking lot. I assure you they are legit, but you can't check in the boxes.

Damn...I was looking for 11 MacBook Airs. Looks like I'll have to go to another parking lot to get them.

How stupid do people have to be to buy stuff from a guy in a car park / parking lot?! If it's not fake, it's stolen, guaranteed.

They're not being ripped off, they're being taxed for their stupidity.

Non-Active-Account said,
This occurs a lot. I would bet 90% of them are not reported.

This happens every day in San Francisco's tenderloin district.