New iPad Scam Leaves Customers Without an Apple

    January 18, 2012
    Shawn Hess
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Some Canadian citizens are getting a surprise after purchasing their new iPads. Reports from a few consumers around the Vancouver area say that they have been scammed! Excited about their purchases, they tear into the neatly sealed packaging only to reveal a similarly sized hunk of clay where their new Apple product should be.

Best Buy, Future Shop, Walmart, and London Drug have all reported similar returns from customers. Clearly the Merchants (and consumers) have been victimized in a scam to return fake merchandise in for a profit. As many as 25 of these fraudulent devices have been sold in the Vancouver area and more victims have come forward since the break of this story on Monday.

Most of the victims have already been issued refunds however, some consumers report being persecuted at the time of return. Obviously there is always a chance that one of the perpetrators is posing as a legitimate customer. I like to think most sellers would give paying customers the benefit of the doubt even at the cost of a overlooking a few bad apples (no pun intended)

It sounds like it is safe to say, retailers will be inspecting these products more closely at the point of purchase in order to protect themselves and consumers. Still it leaves some asking; why hasn’t this been the policy all along? iPads are not inexpensive devices. Sellers should be checking for damage and also that everything is in order with the packaging from the factory.

Apple has agreed to cooperate in the investigation in any way possible but has not made any specific comments about the incidents. Consumers beware; scams like these are becoming more common in the fast-paced world we live in.

[Source: CTV News]

  • Marc

    “retailers will be inspecting these products more closely at the point of purchase” That could get difficult. Apparently in this case it was near impossible to tell that the packaging had been opened. Most packaging is set up so that it’s not easy to open the box, check the contents, and then to put everything back together perfectly. If someone comes to return what looks like a brand-new shrink-wrapped product retailers would need to open the package on the spot and either have the problem of putting it back together to sell as “new” or are now forced to sell it as “opened” at a discount.

    Possibly the only way this could be done is if there was a way to verify the contents of a package without opening it. It would need to be something integrated into the product so that the scammers could not move that part from the original product to the counterfeit. Essentially we need an RFID fingerprint that’s sealed into the product in such a way that you would need to destroy the product to get the fingerprint out. A retailer could record the fingerprints when they sold a device and would only accept returns that contained fingerprints of products they had sold.

  • tracy thompson

    I purchased an pad 2 from Walmart got home and writing pads are in the box. No ipad. Walmart is giving me the run around. What can I do.

  • tracy thompson

    I just purchased an iPad 2 from walmart. when I opened it at home, there was no ipad, just several writing tablets. Now walmart is giving me the run around. I don’t know what to do. Any suggestions?