AAPL Stock: 118.03 ( -0.85 )

Printed from

iPad 2s subbed with clay scam hitting major Canadian stores

updated 07:05 am EST, Wed January 18, 2012

Canadians hit by clay iPad scam

Canadians have been hit by up to 24 known cases of iPad 2s being sold substituted with clay at major retailers in Vancouver, including Future Shop, Best Buy, Walmart, and London Drugs. According to CTV News, customers were sold boxes that looked like new. However, while perfectly sealed, they were given weight by clay, where in at least one instance, a charger was also replaced with clay.

From what has been ascertained so far, the iPad 2's were purchased with cash, only for the tablet to be removed and then repackaged with the fraudulent contents and sealed. As the iPads looked as though they had not been opened, store staff accepted the returns and gave the scammers their cash back while they conveniently also made off with the tablets.

One customer, Dayna Chabot purchased what she thought was a 32GB iPad 2 on January 5 from the Walmart in Langley, not far from Vancouver. She and her boyfriend said that they were absolutely shocked when they made their discovery.

"It was all sealed properly and everything. It was the shape of an iPad. They even had a piece of clay where the charger went and everything. Like, they knew what they were doing," she said.

"I understood that it could have easily been [construed that we] did it and went back [to the store]. But they were really good about it at Walmart. They were all just kind of baffled," she explained.

Chabot was given a full refund within 20 minutes, after first speaking with the store manager.

Apple is said to be aware of the issue and is involved in the investigation although has not offered any further comment at this time. Vancouver police said that the matter will be handled in store until such a time as the retailers affected seek police assistance.

London Drugs says that it is now opening returned items. The same strategy has also been adopted by Future Shop and Best Buy. Walmart, however, has said that it will not change its returns policy at this time. [via The Verge]

by MacNN Staff



  1. Eldernorm

    Joined: Dec 1969


    thats why

    While its not required, if you purchase an iPhone or iPad in an Apple store, they let you open the box and pullout your new iPad.... Its an experience and it also confirms that there is not damage or clay replacements in the box.

    However, you can take the sealed box home (gift??).

  1. jonbwfc1

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Hold on..

    If I read this right..

    Person A buys an ipad. They take the iPad out of the box, substitute in roughly the same weight of clay and reseal the box. They then take it back to the shop and get a refund.

    In the example in the article, somebody purchases an iPad from the shop new then takes it home, opens it up and finds a lump of clay instead of their shiny new tablet.

    Doesn't this mean the shop has taken the 'iPad' back and just stuck it back on the shelf? Isn't selling a returned good as brand new illegal? Isn't that misrepresentation?

  1. tortenteufel

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I always thougt the RIM tablet was something from the stone age...

  1. PJL500

    Joined: Dec 1969


    solution Apple:

    rfid tag embedded in the iPad (10Cent) - when the package is being returned a scan will reveal if the unit that was sold on that receipt is still inside.

  1. facebook_Samuel

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jan 2012


    Re:Hold on..

    Oh, you a very right... it is illegal and no one enforces it...

    Lowes is infamous for that kind of c***. I once saw a hacksaw on the rack that was obviously used (the blade had obvious wear marks in the yellow painted band) being sold as new.

  1. Kevin M. Dean

    Joined: Dec 1969


    comment title

    Grammar - "iPad 2s being sold substituted for clay" means you were buying clay and got an IPad 2 instead. Sounds like a good deal. What you should say is "iPad 2s being sold substituted with clay".

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    A few solutions

    There are a number of ways to prevent this:
    1. The RFID tag mentioned by PJL500.
    2. Apple seals it with Holographic imprinted sealing plastic so the store staff know if Apple sealed it or the customer
    3. Xray installed at store so store staff can look inside package and see if it's valid.
    4. Open up all returns to check. Store staff can then reseal the package themselves.

  1. paulvail

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Um, with the UUID and unique serials on these devices, at some point isn't it likely the scammer would activate the iPad (or sell it to someone who would) and leave a trail? And is this just a problem in Vancouver, or all over Canada? The article seems a bit lacking.

  1. BigMac2

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Better solutions yet

    Avoid bargain store with lazy return-exchange program. Better be smart than sorry.

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.


Network Headlines

Follow us on Facebook


Most Popular


Recent Reviews

Ultimate Ears Megaboom Bluetooth Speaker

Ultimate Ears (now owned by Logitech) has found great success in the marketplace with its "Boom" series of Bluetooth speakers, a mod ...

Kinivo URBN Premium Bluetooth Headphones

We love music, and we're willing to bet that you do, too. If you're like us, you probably spend a good portion of your time wearing ...

Jamstik+ MIDI Controller

For a long time the MIDI world has been dominated by keyboard-inspired controllers. Times are changing however, and we are slowly star ...


Most Commented