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Posted: November 04, 2011

Beware the iPad "bargain"

By Veronica Waters

ATLANTA, Ga. None —

Watch out for that iPad "bargain." Fake iPads are popping up from Georgia to Florida to Texas. WSB's Richard Sangster reports police are tracking as many as 50 people selling the fakes.

Detective Robert Bentivegna with the Dunwoody Police Department says he has at least 30 cases of people being duped into buying the phony iPads. In one victim's case, a "gentleman approached her at an Exxon gas station right here in the city of Dunwoody" and offered to sell an iPad at a low price. It is common, say police tracking the criminals, for the sellers to approach someone in parking lot or gas station.

Often, the crook will show a potential victim a real iPad to "prove" there is real merchandise for sale. When the customer is convinced to buy, the scammer has pulled out a FedEx box which appears to contain an iPad with a Best Buy receipt on it.

In reality, it is nothing more than a black duct tape-wrapped Plexiglas frame with an Apple sticker on the back. The one pictured was sold to a victim in north Texas.

Police say the scammers have been using rental cars from Mississippi to run the con in several states. Often, women are renting the cars and selling the iPads for men involved.

In Augusta, a woman was scammed out of $500 by a man who offered to sell her an iPad 2 and a tablet computer in the parking lot of the Augusta Mall. By the time Portia Tanksley opened the hefty box, the seller was gone and she was left with a three-ring binder and a large tile.