As we move full steam ahead toward Christmas and the wish lists are coming out, iPads and other tablets are near the top for many of us. With a recession hitting the economy hard and unemployment still quite high in many areas, the idea that we can get a good deal is very romantic.
That’s exactly what the scammers are counting on.
NBC has been running a story that identified a group of thieves selling fake iPads in Texas, Mississippi, Georgia, and Florida. Their story indicates that at least 50 people are involved, 10 have been identified and 2 have been apprehended. But this is just the start.
As part of this particular scam, the individuals will approach you showing off a perfectly good iPad. Once they have you hooked they pass off a bubble-wrapped ‘iPad’ pulled from a FedEx box. This bubble wrapped unit could be just about anything, though the ones they have caught are plexi-glass frames coated in duct tape with a Best Buy pricing label on the front. To add to the illusion, an Apple logo is visible through the bubble wrap.
And once you realize you’ve been fooled, it’s too late. The con-artists are quickly gone and their cars all rentals making them more difficult to track. Regardless, local police urge people to contact them if this happens so they can prevent others from being fooled.
Don’t forget that fakes can take other forms as well. They may even appear more convincing, showing up as functioning tablets (but not iPads) from unknown manufacturers. Knock-offs from an unknown Chinese company marketed as iPeds were recently spotting being sold in the US and being snapped up by those who paid a little more attention to the price tag than the packaging.
Even though your intentions are good and your bargain-seeking senses tingle at the thought of getting a deal on this season’s hottest gift, it’s likely a safe bet that you shouldn’t be buying an iPad out of the trunk of anybody’s car.
[via NBC DFW]