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September 01, 2021

Scammers dupe woman into buying 'iPad' made of wood

Consumers aren’t too smart, we know this. How else to explain that we’ll buy anything with a nine at the end of its price tag, even if the product is more expensive than something that ends with, say, a four?

But what we are is a big collection of deal seekers. At large, consumers can’t say no to a bargain, especially when it’s too good to be true.

So perhaps we can excuse one South Carolina woman for jumping at an insanely good deal on an iPad. After all, anyone that can nab one of the Apple touch-screens for just $180 deserves to be commended.

Unless she’s a moron, and that tablet, purchased in a parking lot, turned out to be made of wood when she got it unwrapped at home.

Certainly, this news story out of the U.S. may be one of the year’s most memorable – the rare scam that makes you side, somehow, with the fraudsters.

*Bing: How to tell what you’re buying online is fake

According to a Spartanburg County (S.C.) Sheriff’s Office report, a 22-year-old South Carolina woman was approached in a McDonald’s parking lot earlier this week by two men who claimed to have purchased iPads in bulk.

They were selling them for $300. The woman only had $180. The salesmen obliged.

Yet what appeared to be a cut rate deal quickly turned embarrassing for the South Carolinian when she opened her to-be-iPad’s box and found it was made of wood.

As you can see from the pic to the side, the wooden iPad is surely a crude replica: it had an Apple logo stickered on the back, while the front “screen” was wrapped with black tape and contained replicas of iPad logos for the Safari, Mail, Photos and iPod applications.

Since the thieves sold the iPad on a sealed, appropriately-weighted FedEx box alone, one might wonder why they bothered dressing up the wooden block to look like an Apple tablet in the first place. Yet, at the risk of promoting theft and fraud, you might have to concede that anyone who can sell a wooden iPad for $180 might just deserve the cash, anyway.

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money

*Photo courtesy The Smoking Gun



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...