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Canadian customers get lumps of clay instead of iPads

Vancouver, B.C. resident Mark Sandhu bought a new iPad 2 for his wife for Christmas, but when she opened the box, she found a tablet of another kind: a big chunk of clay. Sandhu took his purchase back to Canadian retailer Future Shop and complained, but the store initially thought he was trying to run a scam on them.

It's only after Sandhu contacted CTV, and after more cases of "clayPads" started showing up in Vancouver-area Future Shops and Best Buys, that Sandhu finally got compensation in the form of a full refund and a replacement iPad 2.

This isn't the first time we've heard of a scam like this, unfortunately. Cases involving bricks or other items inserted into iPod boxes and then returned for full refunds have happened several times in the past, with unsuspecting retail clerks simply returning them to shelves and selling the iBricks to customers down the road. One particularly effective scam I saw when I worked retail security a few years back was when a scammer would buy both a 1 GB and 4 GB iPod nano, then return the 1 GB nano in the 4 GB box. The differences between the two units were too subtle for most returns desk clerks to notice, but the price gap was wide enough for scammers to turn a tidy profit this way.

According to CTV, 10 fake clayPads have been found in the Vancouver area so far. If you live in Vancouver and are planning to buy an iPad from anywhere other than an Apple Store, we'd suggest you shoot an unboxing video when you first open your purchase; if you "win" the lottery and wind up with a clayPad instead of an iPad, at least the video should be proof enough that you're the scammed and not the scammer.

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