Woman pays $180 for wooden iPad (it's fake)

A woman buys what she thinks is an iPad from two men in a McDonald's parking lot. She subsequently discovers it is a piece of wood with an Apple logo.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

One's presence in a McDonald's parking lot tends to signify one's enthusiasm to spend a dollar on something that might get one through the afternoon.

Ashley McDowell, from Spartanburg, S.C., however, appears to have managed to spend $180 on something that might heat her living room for part of an evening.

The only problem was that she thought she had bought an iPad.

The Smoking Gun relays this tale of thieves with a wooden heart from the Spartanburg County Sheriff's report. It seems that two men approached McDowell in the parking lot and said they had purloined iPads for which they had no need.

In order to show their fine faith, they reportedly showed her a brand new, shiny iPad and told her that one just like it could be hers for a mere $300.

Spartanburg Sheriff's Office

McDowell didn't want to pass up such an uplifting bargain but was only in possession of $180. The dupers seemed not to take Amex. But, ever reasonable, they reportedly said that, well, just this once, they would accept McDowell's offer. They then apparently gave her a FedEx box from the trunk of their Impala.

You might think, at this point, that McDowell might have at least asked that the two gentlemen open the FedEx box just so that she could let her fingers stroke the world's most desirable inanimate companion.

You might think that voles celebrate Christmas by playing leap-frog.

Instead, she didn't open the box until she got home. What she discovered was a gadget with an Apple logo on the back. On the front was a Best Buy sticker and several Apple icons, such as Safari and iPod. However, given that the entire thing was made of wood, she was unable to boot it up and check her e-mail, update her Facebook status or search for her family tree.

Before you scream, snort or snicker, let he who has not been fooled at least once in this life cast the first tablet of wood.

After a short pause for reflection, some might choose to marvel at the ingenuity, guilt or sheer titillation-freakery of the people who had bothered to put Apple logos and Best Buy stickers onto a piece of wood. Did they think this might deceive someone for a second longer before they made their getaway? Did they imagine that someone might think this was the much-talked about iPad 3 (The Ecological Version)?

Or might it be that these con artists (who are reportedly still at large) were keen to develop the artistic side of their metier as much as the conning side?