Scammer Does A Decent Job Of Making Floor Tile Look Like An iPad

Don't be fooled. This is no iPad. (Photo: Ceres, CA, Police Dept.)

Don’t be fooled. This is no iPad. (Photo: Ceres, CA, Police Dept.)

We’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating: When you’re buying an iPad at a deep discount from a complete stranger off the street, don’t be surprised when you end up with a box of useless junk. And even when that friendly back-alley retailer shows you what appears — through layers of bubble wrap — to be the real deal, be warned that it’s probably just a tarted-up floor tile.

The Ceres, CA, Police Dept. shared these photos with the San Francisco Chronicle’s Crime Scene Blog to show the lengths to which scammers will go to rip off bargain-seeking consumers.

Someone could look at the above photo and be convinced that it is indeed a real iPad covered in bubble wrap. But pull back that bubble wrap and things look a bit off… Why does the iPad have those odd ripples under its surface?

Oh, because it’s nothing but a floor tile with a print-out designed to look like the back of an iPad:

Yup, that's just some paper and bubble wrap on top of a  floor tile.

Yup, that’s just some paper and bubble wrap on top of a floor tile.

Police say scammers have been ginning up convincing fakes of iPads and other electronics — like pieces of wood doctored to look like TVs — and selling them off to unwitting consumers (who really should know better).

We’ve written about numerous instances in which people have been burned by scammy sellers offering discount iPads to people on the street (and mostly at gas stations, interestingly enough). Don’t be suckered in. Even if someone is offering you a legitimate iPad, it’s probably stolen or broken (possibly both), and you should just say no.

Of course, buying an iPad from a retail location is no guarantee that you won’t get a box full of notepads, a fake iPad, a useless store display, or a bunch of random junk in an iPad box.

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  1. Raekwon says:

    Wow that looks really good for how simple it is. I had a friend buy speakers from a guy in a white van at a gas station. The guy was even so nice as to accompany him to the atm so he could get more cash to cover the cost of the speakers. It pretty much went down word for word like the Wikipedia article describes “White Van Speaker Scam.”

  2. SuperSpeedBump says:

    Make sense… our country ranks where in Education? 26th? 28th? Last?!!