Police in Grand Prairie, Texas are warning local citizens about a scam that involves a hussle so transparently a hussle that I’m surprised this has become a problem. I guess one should never underestimate how gullible people can be, especially when it comes to getting Apple products at rock bottom prices.
The scam, as reported by the police (and found on MacRumors):
A car load of two or three males will pull up to someone at a convenience store or shopping center parking lot and it’s “Pssst, hey buddy. Want to buy an Apple iPad or MacBook?” They will tell the victim they are for sale for $300 each or both for $500. The Apple products are actually painted wood or loose leaf note books with the Apple logo on top and wrapped in bubble wrap.
They are in a Fed Ex or Best Buy box and sealed up with tape. By the time the victim figures out the purchase wasn’t what they bargained for, the crooks are long gone.
Grand Prairie has had over a dozen such crimes committed since January of this year. The suspects have been mostly black males. However one offense involved a black female as well. The vehicles used vary in most cases. There appears to be several groups of thieves and sometimes the suspects never even get out of the car.
I shouldn’t have to say this (and probably don’t to regular readers of this blog), but buying electronics from random dudes in parking lots is just plain dumb. Even if you truly believe that the purchase you’re about to make will actually result in you receiving the merchandise you desire, why wouldn’t you check to make sure that an actual product is in the box and turns on? Perhaps you feel intimidated by a car full of dudes selling obviously illegal wares. Makes sense. The solution, then, is super simple: walk away as fast as you can.
I don’t even want to think about what it says about the population of Grand Prairie that this has happened over a dozen times this year.
Just remember, a deal too good to be true often isn’t true. If you really want some inexpensive Apple products, hit up eBay or look on Craigslist. Verify the device and its condition before turning over any money.
If you have any tips or information on this crime, please call the Grand Prairie Crime Stoppers (972-988-8477) or the Grand Prairie tip line (972-237-8877).