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SALT LAKE CITY — Scammers in at least two different states are offering deep discounts on what consumers think are Apple products, but are actually no more than picture frames or mirrors wrapped in duct tape.
In all cases, victims did not try to test the product before making the purchase.
In Arlington, Texas, a woman was offered what she thought was a deeply discounted iPad for $200 at a local gas station.
"He pulled up beside us, and he was like, ‘Hey, I've got some iPads and stuff, and I've got some laptops if you all are interested in buying,'" Jalonta Freeman told KXAS.
Freeman said her sister opened the FedEx box the man had given her before driving away to find something that vaguely resembled the $800 product he had claimed it was.
"If you turn it on the back, it actually looks like an Apple iPad, and when you turn it to the front it actually has the prices and stuff, and when she was turning, it's a mirror," Freeman said. "That's messed up. That's so wrong."
A similar situation was caught on camera recently in Medley, Fla., where the scammers used picture frames instead of mirrors to get $200 out of unsuspecting visitors to a gas station, according to CBS Miami.
In this instance, too, an iPad was sold for $200 and was allegedly being stored in a FedEx envelope. In this case, an iPad box in the envelope housed a picture frame wrapped in bubble wrap. At least two victims have come forward in Florida.
In all cases, no suspects have been identified. The owner of the Florida gas station where two of the scams took place warned consumers to be careful.
"If someone is selling you something that is too good to be true, it usually is," Rick Gonzalez said. "You definitely have to check out something before you buy it."
Police say this type of scam is not new, and instances always increase in the weeks leading up to Christmas. They warn consumers to be smart about their purchases and not to buy products from unknown vendors unless they can be tested first.