Pair Arrested For Trying To Sell Blocks Of Wood, Paper Binders As Toshiba Laptops

If you were at the fair this week in Jackson, Mississippi and saw a bunch of Toshiba laptops that you thought looked awfully like blocks of wood and paper binders, well, you were right. Two men were arrested after trying to sell the blocks of wood—which were covered in bubble wrap and secured with duct tape and Toshiba labels—to an off-duty state trooper.

The local sheriff’s department offered much-needed context for the bust.

“By the time you take it and get it home, you find you’ve purchased a block of wood, you may as well throw it in the fireplace. It’s no good,” said Lt. Jeffery Scott, public information officer with the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department.

The men face charges of trademark infringement and illegally selling goods bearing counterfeit labels. They face up to $10,000 in fines and five years behind bars, which, if they can find a file and some duct tape, they can try selling to other inmates as DVD players.

Men arrested in wooden laptop scam [WLBT] (Thanks to Howard!)

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  1. smo0 says:

    I make my own laptops at home?

  2. Mackinstyle1 says:

    I tried hooking my new laptop up to my router but it just put a hole in the thing. =(

    • SharkD says:

      That’s probably because you used a Forstner Bit.

      You should have used a Double-Flute Profile Bit with a Ball Bearing Guide.

  3. COBBCITY says:

    Someone would actually pay someone cash for a thing wrapped in bubble wrapped marked “Toshiba”, assume it’s a laptop and not open it until they got home?

    Really?

    (If it was a credit card,a quick dispute would put an end to that scam.)

    • _Rand_ says:

      It’s actually not an uncommon scam.

      Though usually it goes something like:

      1) Get a bunch of empty boxes and some junk to fill them with
      2) Get one to show off
      3) Con someone into buying one of for insanely low price
      4) Give him box containing junk instead of the real thing
      5) ?????
      6) Profit!

    • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

      Um, happens all the time at legitimate retailers (okay, so Walmart and Bogus Buy aren’t necessarily legitimate but work with what you got, right?) unfortunately. Customers buy what they think is an electronic item, open the box, and find out they got a brick instead of the new gadget they were expecting. Search Consumerist’s archives and you’ll see a bunch of stories relating to this.

    • AllanG54 says:

      It’s Mississippi….’nuff siad.

  4. legwork says:

    They’d have been okay if they would have just put the word “Unlimited” before Toshiba’s name.

    Silly crooks. Learn from the big boys.

  5. Outrun1986 says:

    Somehow I don’t think this is a very good idea, the customers know where the sellers are located so it could come back to them very easily. Unless the sellers were just there for a couple hours and left. Its also pretty easy to bust counterfeits like this if they are in plain public sight, which in this case they were.

  6. Jeff says: "WTF could you have been thinking?" says:

    Reminds me of a story a few years back about a guy selling oven doors as plasma TV’s.

  7. Cyniconvention says:

    Maybe the “I can’t find my pics” Dell lady could have sent a paper-stuffed binder to her Tech Support friend…

    Also, from the article;

    “The men were also trying to sell fake gold chains, a camcorder, an iPod, and porn.”

    One of these things do not belong.

  8. Beeker26 says:

    According to the article they didn’t actually sell any of them, so +1 to people smart enough to not fork over hard-earned cash for something that clearly doesn’t look legit.

  9. Atsumi says:

    If someone was trying to sell me a laptop with nothing on it but bubblewrap, I think I’d want to turn it on and test it out before forking my cash to them.

  10. slim150 says:

    the picture in the article is WAY to big and doesn’t even fit on my screen

  11. Bearcat44 says:

    “By the time you take it and get it home, you find you’ve purchased a block of wood, you may as well throw it in the fireplace. It’s no good.”

    But if you have the right saws, you can make wood blocks!

    • EtherealFlame says:

      Or whittle them into horses and bears and what not. Then your could sell them on Etsy as one of a kind creations and charge ludicrous amounts for them and still come out ahead anyways!

  12. savvysavingbytes says:

    Give those guys an “A” for resourcefulness. Though like many here, I imagine, I would have loved seeing a photo of their creative packaging.

  13. flarn2006 says:

    P-P-P-PowerBook?

  14. Angus99 says:

    The picture in the linked story appears to show…..wait for it….. a BEST BUY style tag attached!

  15. tbax929 says:

    I had an HP laptop once that was similar to a big block of wood. It constantly overheated and gave me the Blue Screen of Death so much it almost made me cry. Actually, I could have done more with a block of wood than I was ever able to do on that POS laptop.

  16. MrBeetle says:

    Was it a p-p-p-powerbook?

    http://www.zug.com/pranks/powerbook/

  17. Phil Villakeepinitrreal says:

    “By the time you take it and get it home, you find you’ve purchased a block of wood, you may as well throw it in the fireplace. It’s no good,” said Lt. Jeffery Scott, public information officer with the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department.

    Speak for himself. If I was dumb enough to get taken by these guys, you bet I’d be back at that fair and there’d be a good, old fashioned State Fair Ass-Kicking event drawing a crowd, with these two finding out what a block of wood is REALLY good for. During which these two not only gave me a refund, but had all the sales cash to anyone else confiscated so I could make sure it went back to the scammed buyers when they saw the story on the news.

  18. OMG_BECKY says:

    It still amazes me that people fall for this old trick, but they do! I had a friend in Vegas who got taken by this scam. Only he bought a phone book disguised as a laptop, not a piece of wood. Same sh*t, different toilet paper!

  19. joe says:

    it’s interesting that they were charged with trademark violations rather than theft. i wonder why?

  20. cscastle says:

    “If you were at the fair this week in Jackson, Mississippi”

    The WLBT article doesn’t say “at the fair,” it says “at the fairGROUNDS.” The Fairgrounds Complex is a permanent facility that comprises livestock barns, a judging arena, and several multi-purpose buildings including the Mississippi Coliseum and the Trade Mart.

    We have events somewhere on the Fairgrounds nearly every day. The Mississippi State Fair is held there annually, in early October. Not July–too hot and humid here in the summer for such things.

  21. Daniellethm says:

    I saw this scam on The Real Hustle, quite a while ago. Always double check you’re actually buying what they’re selling, they may not be the same thing.

  22. Keep talking...I'm listening says:

    Womp Womp is my favorite! :)