Scam Artists Replace iPad 2s with Blocks of Clay in Canada, Return Them for Full Refunds
January 18, 2012 11:09 AM
Stores like Walmart, Best Buy, Future Shop and London Drugs have all had cases where clay replaced iPad 2's during returns
Customers shopping for iPad 2's in certain Canadian stores are finding blocks of clay in their brand new boxes instead of Apple's popular iOS tablet.
Apple's iPad 2, which was released in March 2011, is a well sought-after item in the tablet market. No other tablets have been able to touch its popularity, whether it be Android-based, BlackBerry's PlayBook, HP's TouchPad, etc. In fact, iPads accounted for
97.2 percent of U.S. tablet traffic
in August 2011.
Now, scam artists are taking advantage of the tablet's popularity by purchasing an iPad 2 from stores with cash, replacing the tablet with a block of clay, and returning it to the store for a full refund. The
fraudulent iPad 2's
are then placed back on the shelves for other unsuspecting customers to buy.
Stores like Walmart, Best Buy, Future Shop and London Drugs have all had cases where clay replaced iPad 2's during returns. According to
, Best Buy and Future Shop had as many as 10 fake clay models resold to customers in their Metro Vancouver stores. London Drugs had four cases of clay models being resold while Walmart said it was investigating less than 10 cases.
Dayna Chabot was one of the unsuspecting customers who purchased a “clay” 32 GB iPad 2 at Walmart on January 5. She purchased it at the Langley store, south of Vancouver.
"It was all sealed properly and everything," said Chabot. "It was the shape of an iPad. They even had a piece of clay where the charger went and everything. Like,
they knew what they were doing
. I understood that it could have easily been us that did it and went back. But they were really good about it at Walmart. They were all just kind of baffled."
In response, Future Shop, Best Buy and London Drugs said they are all changing their return policies. The iPad 2 boxes will be opened right in front of the customers returning them to make sure the correct components are inside before offering a refund or putting the boxes back on the shelves.
Walmart, however, said it is not changing its return policy at this time. It called the scams "upsetting" and said it contacted the local police to investigate, but
said local police knew nothing about the clay iPad 2s.
"It's really sad that people stoop to these low levels to take advantage of really hot sellers," said Elliott Chun, Future Shop spokesperson. "As you probably know, tablets were the number one touted gift items for the holidays this year."
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