Fake iPad Scheme Makes North Texas Return

Arlington woman buys tablet at gas station that turned out to be fake

An Arlington woman says that a new iPad she thought she had bought at a great price turned out to be a fake.

Jalonta Freeman said she bought the item from a stranger who approached her at a gas station near Highway 360 and Green Oaks.

"He pulled up beside us, and he was like, 'Hey, I've got some iPads and stuff, and I've got some laptops if you all are interested in buying,'" she said Wednesday.

He offered to sell a brand-new iPad worth $800 for just $200, Freeman said.

With Christmas coming up, she and her family thought it sounded too good to pass up. They gave him the cash, and he quickly drove off, she said.

New iPads begin at $399 for Wi-Fi-only models. The iPad 2 that connects to cellular networks retails for $529.

The recently announced iPads with retina display start at $499 for the Wi-Fi models. The cellular models range in price from $629 to $829 and will be available to ship in mid-November.

When Freeman's sister opened the package, it turned out to be a mirror about the size as the tablet.

"If you turn it on the back, it actually looks like an Apple iPad," Freeman said. "And when you turn it to the front, it has the prices and stuff."

It even had an Apple logo stuck on it.

"That's so messed up," Freeman said. "That's so wrong. I would never do anybody like that. Get a job."

Freeman said she became angry when she realized she had been conned.

"I just started cussing," she said. "I was upset. Anybody would be upset if you found out you just got scammed, you know what I'm saying? You just lost $200."

Freeman reported the crime to Arlington police, but she never got a license plate number and she admits that investigators have little to go on.

She said she now feels stupid but has learned an important lesson.

"Don't buy nothing on the streets from nobody," she said.

Arlington police spokeswoman Tiara Richard said she had not heard of any similar incidents but added these kinds of crimes always increase in the weeks before Christmas.

Last year, Grand Prairie police warned North Texas about groups of people who were selling fake iPads and MacBooks out of their cars for several hundred dollars. Police then said that investigators knew of more than a dozen incidents.

Police in other states, including Georgia, Florida and Mississippi, reported similar incidents last year.

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