Bait and switch scam: Pay for iPad, get floor tile?

11:01 PM, Jun 17, 2011   |    comments
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  • Police confiscate Apple products and counterfeits
  • Counterfeit iPhone on the right.
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MORROW, Ga -- Morrow police arrested two men they say were running a scam purporting to sell high end Apple computers and iPhones. But instead, their victims got caught holding fakes or a piece of floor tile.

Police said the suspects advertised the products on Craigslist and sold MacBooks, iPads and iPhone 4's. The buyers, who paid cash, would end up with either counterfeit products or a box that contained a piece of floor tile to imitate the weight of the computer.

The buyer would agree to meet the suspect to purchase the product. When they met, the suspect would display a real iPad or MacBook. The buyer would be handed a fake box. "And of course what they would come out with when they opened their box was a floor tile," said Captain James Callaway.

If it was an iPhone 4, the buyer would receive a counterfeit phone. Capt. Callaway said the counterfeit present a public safety concern because the batteries in counterfeit phones have caught fire. "You buy the phone, you charge it up, the next thing you know your home is on fire because these have not been tested by any regulatory agency in the United States," he said.

When you buy products on the internet, police warn you to do your homework. They also say the old adage is true, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't." "If you're buying something that's a high dollar MacBook that retails for $2,500 in the store and if they're selling it for $500 dollars, that's a red flag," Callaway said.

Morrow Police arrested the two suspects in the parking lot of Southlake Mall where they met a potential buyer. Capt. Callaway said they are not releasing the names or pictures of the suspects. They expect more victims to come forward to do photo lineups with the suspects.


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