DOCUMENT: Stupid, Crime

Cops On The Hunt For Duplicitous iPlank Scammers

South Carolinian duped in “brick in the box” variation


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Wooden iPad

AUGUST 30--In a new variation on the “brick in a box” scam, a South Carolina woman who thought she purchased an iPad from two men in a McDonald’s parking lot discovered yesterday that the purported tablet was actually “a piece of wood painted black with an Apple logo.”

According to a Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office report, Ashley McDowell, 22, told deputies that she was approached by two black males who claimed to have purchased iPads in bulk and were selling them for $300 apiece. After McDowell explained that she only had $180, the duo agreed to sell her the device at a cut rate.

But when McDowell drove home and opened the FedEx box containing the iPad, she instead discovered the wood with the Apple logo. The “screen”--which was framed with black tape--included replicas of iPad icons for Safari, mail, photos, and an iPod. It also had what cops described as a “Best Buy sales ticket.”

The phony iPad is pictured above in police evidence photos (click to enlarge).

Usually, “brick in a box” scammers don’t concern themselves with creating a replica of the item they are peddling (beyond trying to make sure that it approximates the weight of the authentic object).

Deputies have dusted the phony iPad for fingerprints. McDowell told probers that the swindlers were driving “a white Impala with no rims and no tint.” One of the men, she noted, “had a gold tooth.” (1 page)