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County Durham woman jailed for £450,000 iPad scam

A woman scammed hundreds of people out of hundreds of thousands of pounds by offering cheap iPads she couldn't deliver.

A woman from County Durham has been jailed for two years for scamming hundreds of people in an iPad swindle, the BBC reports.

Kirsty Cox duped customers into thinking she could get them the tablet PC at a reduced price. The scam went on between March and December 2012, and was worth £450,000.

Customers paid the 37-year-old for the devices, but she never gave them the goods, Teesside Crown Court heard. Cox told unwitting customers she could source the Apple slate for between £50 and £100 cheaper than the retail price. Judge George Moorhouse said she used her "niceness" to "deceive" customers.

Her scam "caused misery" to children at Christmas, by "tricking" their parents into thinking they were picking up a bargain.

Cox has previously admitted four fraud charges.

"The actual real cutting effect was for the people who had been saving the small amounts per week to buy iPads for the kids for Christmas," said detective superintendent Neil Jones from Durham Police. "To find out the week before that your goods weren't coming was devastating, people's Christmases were ruined."

Cox was arrested in December 2012, and was kept in custody for her own safety, after an angry mob gathered outside her home demanding to know where their iPads were.

At one point, Cox bought iPads from PC World and sold them at a loss in an attempt to cover her tracks.

One victim told the court: "I had a really close relationship with Kirsty and she had a really good reputation… I trusted her 100 per cent and I had no reason not to."

Have you ever been scammed into buying gadgets that never arrived? Are we too enthralled with our devices nowadays? What can be done to curb this gadget lust? Let me know in the comments, or over on our Facebook page.