CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Culture

Doh! Teens sold iPhones that were Play-Doh bricks, police say

Technically Incorrect: In the latest attempt at fooling the unsuspecting and gullible, three Detroit area teens allegedly talk a MetroPCS store into buying fake iPhones.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


pdbrick.jpg
They look a little like iPhones, no? Surprise Eggs and Toys/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

The legend of making something else look like an Apple product will last until eternity.

Everyone -- from Samsung's smartphone designers to the people who tried to sell an iPad made out of wood -- has, at one time or another, suffered accusations of subterfuge.

I have never, however, heard of someone trying to pass a Play-Doh brick off as an iPhone. Until now, that is.

As Reuters reports, three teens from the Detroit area are accused of wandering into a MetroPCS store and trying to sell the owner iPhones that were bricked. To be more precise, that were Play-Doh bricks.

The Auburn Hills Police Department said that the boxes were nicely wrapped and sealed. However, the owner discovered the alleged ruse.

Then he called his teen sellers. He wondered whether they had any more of these fine iDohs. Oh, and he also called the police.

You might wonder, at this point, two things. One, why might the owner allegedly buy phones from kids without opening the boxes? Was he already suspicious? Two, why might the kids truly think that the MetroPCS store hadn't opened the boxes and had just sold them?

A MetroPCS spokesman told me: "MetroPCS policy requires dealers to purchase new and certified pre-owned handsets from authorized vendors. We're working with local law enforcement on their investigation."

The teens allegedly returned to the store with more iDohs, only to run away before the deal was done. Police didn't seem to have had much trouble finding them. Two were charged with larceny by false pretenses and the other with attempted larceny.

Lt. Jill McDonnell of the Auburn Hills police told me there are four suspects in all, one of whom remains under investigation.

She said: "The four suspects were located and arrested. A search of their rental car produced a backpack with phone boxes that were filled with Playdoh and about $500.00 in cash and clothes"

Long is list of such scams. Who could forget the $390 iPad that was a box of potatoes? You surely remember the laptop made out of paper. And how about the iPad at Walmart that turned out to be a box of notepads?

What might it be next? Giants iPads that are really nothing but mirrors?

Update, 7:35 a.m. PT July 29: Comment from Auburn Hills Police Department added.