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iPad scammers swindle $180 from South Carolina woman

August 30, 2011 |  6:02 pm

If a stranger approached you in a McDonald's parking lot and offered to sell an iPad on the cheap, how would you react?

For Ashley McDowell, the answer was an immediate yes.

According to the sheriff's office in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, the 22-year-old McDowell was picking up food Monday night at a McDonald's when two men approached her in the parking lot.

After showing her a new iPad, the police report said, the guys told McDowell that they had purchased the tablet computers in bulk and were reselling them for $300 apiece.

McDowell evidently jumped at the chance to snag a cut-rate iPad but explained that she had only $180. The men decided to sell her one iPad at that price, she told police.

McDowell handed them the money and then waited to open the FedEx box supposedly containing the iPad until she got home -- where she proceeded to pull out not a shiny new Apple tablet, but a "piece of wood painted black with an Apple logo," the police report said.

The so-called "screen" is filled with mock iPad icons for email, photos and Safari -- all held down with black tape. The studious con men even included a "Best Buy sales ticket," police said.

McDowell told police that the swindlers were driving "a white Impala with no rims and no tint." One of the guys, she noted, had "a gold tooth."


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Photo: Fake wooden iPad sold to a South Carolina woman. Credit: Spartanburg County (South Carolina) Sheriff's Office