Bait And Switch iPad Scam, Coming To A Parking Lot Near You


One of the decoy iPads.
One of the decoy iPads.

People peddling pretend iPads in U.S. parking lots have now gone mobile. First spotted in North Texas, a 50-person strong scam ring has branched out to Florida, Georgia and Mississippi.  

They approach customers in convenience stores and shopping center parking lots with some variant of the “Pssst, buddy want to buy an iPad” at a price of a few hundred dollars. The scammers show the mark a real iPad, then once they get the cash switch it for a bubble-wrapped FedEx box that contains a Plexiglass frame covered in duct tape for heft.

“I have leads from Florida to Georgia to Mississippi,” said Texas detective Alex Chasteen. “They are renting cars and driving here to sell the fake iPads.”

The pack of thieves – believed to be about 50 in total – is thought to be operating out of Jackson, Mississippi. The womenfolk involved (wives, sisters, girlfriends) are thought to rent decoy cars for the men who stand around in parking lots waiting for people to scam.
Parking lot iPad switcheroos first made news back in September when a woman who confronted a couple who sold her the fake merch said she was run over by the thieves.

Because people want Apple’s tablet device more than world peace, police expect iPad scam to intensify leading up to the holidays.


  • ThePontificator

    There’s a sucker born every minute

  • likethepear

    Who buys ANYTHING in a parking lot? I wouldn’t even buy a car in a parking lot!

  • Atienne

    i’m sorry, if you are stupid enough to buy an iPad in a parking lot then you deserve what you get.

  • MainstreetApple

    I launched a site for everyday iPhone/Mac users please RT to your followers & help me promote my new sit,

  • Juan Carlos


  • Wayne_Luke

    If you think that buying an iPad out of the trunk of a car in a parking lot is a good idea, then you deserve to be scammed.

  • Len Williams

    Actual criminals count on finding people who are marginally criminal and stupid enough to want buy something that’s possibly stolen just so they can get a good deal. The only way an actual iPad will sell for $200 is if it’s hot, doesn’t work or is damaged in some way. Any fairly honest person will realize this because iPads are such in-demand items. Unfortunately, crims and marginal-crims are not all that bright, and this is why this type of crime happens. At very least, the buyer should demand to see the actual item he/she is buying before handing over the cash–but again, it would take a decent IQ to make this leap of logic.

  • GDal

    A fool and his money….

  • iMunkie

    who the hell buys an iPad from a guy in the parking lot?  if you’re dumb enough do that, you deserve it.