back to article Don't buy your iPad in a McDonald's car park

A young woman in South Carolina has had her dream of buying a brand-new shiny iPad in the car park of a McDonald's crushed by two swindlers, who left her with a wooden dud. The 22-year-old saw nothing suspicious in being approached by two men in the aforementioned car park nor in being offered an iPad for $300. Claiming they …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    She should have twigged

    1. JudeKay (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Well

      I like your style, caller

      1. Thomas 4

        Silly girl

        Probably feels a bit of a plank now.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. JudeKay (Written by Reg staff)

            Re: Leave it out...

            Unbeleafable! Take a bough dude

    2. Dave 64 Silver badge

      obvious question

      is this crime being investigated by Special Branch?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        obvious question

        @Dave 64

        obvious question #

        Posted Wednesday 31st August 2011 13:03 GMT


        is this crime being investigated by Special Branch?

        No, the crime is being investigated by the woodentops

    3. Lee Dowling Silver badge



    4. Anonymous Coward

      Oh Dear

      Sadly things didn't blossom into the deliciously golden opportunity that she thought she was getting from the gentlemens' trunk, when arriving home and opening her discovery box it was then to her horror that she had been the victim of the granny smith con trick.

      Watson, it leafs one green with rage.

    5. NomNomNom

      u are a

      that was treely clever. i could read that owl day long (owl - a tree based bird). i treely hope u get uprooted (ie upvoted). this message wood (will) now be trunkated (getit?)

      1. ravenviz Silver badge


        C'mon, that's a downvote! :-P

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      She did...

      ...when she tried to login.

  2. Oliver Mayes

    Photo of the offending iWood

    1. Stone-eye

      Is she sure it's a fake?

      I mean it doesn't play flash and it has angry birds (Well one South Carolinan angry bird).

    2. BrownishMonstr

      I agree with the author

      She should just suck up the loss for stupidity.

    3. Olafthemighty
      Thumb Up

      I'm impressed

      That they went to so much trouble to make it look nothing like an actual iPad!

  3. Eponymous Cowherd

    I bet she felt.....

    a bit of a plank

  4. Piro Silver badge

    Well, at least they tried

    B+ for effort. They painted wood and put an Apple logo on it.

    Beats a box of rocks!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I don´t need no stinking title

      I thought it was the logo you payed for in the first place anyway.

      1. LaeMing


        the perps are relying on that defence if they are caught, hence the extra effort.

  5. John Lilburne

    Could have been worse ...

    ... it might have worked, sort of.

  6. wayne 8

    How far has Apple fallen without Steve Jobs

    Things will only get worse.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Not far

      from the tree?

  7. John 90

    Legal requirement

    You are licensed to run the software on one Apple-labelled device.

  8. Trygve Henriksen

    A match made in woodworking heaven?

    A wooden iPad for a complete blockhead...

  9. Joe User

    It's Apple's latest prototype

    Of the iPlank.

    1. Arrrggghh-otron

      And if she is pretty...


  10. Giles Jones Gold badge


    Can't do much with the wood. At least those buying laptops and getting potatoes instead means they could at least cook the potatoes.

    Always open the box before you walk away and hand over the readies.

  11. Rich 30
    Thumb Up


    i personally WOOD have checked in the box. Clearly this woman is as thick as two bargain ipads?

  12. Mark McNeill

    Value for money

    It had an Apple logo on it, what more did she want anyway?

  13. Steven Davison

    Coat, Door, I know!

    I hope she logged it with the correct authorities..

  14. Mondo the Magnificent


    The scenario is excellent; South Carolina, McDonalds and a bargain..

    A little like showing a herd of lemmings a cliff... there will be casualties...

  15. Anonymous Coward

    She must be barking for not checking it.

    If she'd opened it up she'd have known straight away that it wooden work.

    1. dssf

      Not the * she was expecting...

      NOT the woodie she was expecting. Got wedged out of $300.

  16. Yag

    Is it at least Apple tree wood?


  17. Anonymous Coward

    Without an Apple angle

    I have a friend who, while traveling in China, was offered cheap harddisks on the street (as he was entering a taxi, actually). The units looked good, so being a homegrown hardware hacker with plenty of laptops in varying degrees of decay in his home lab he bought a few. He was quite amused when he got home and discovered that they were empty, apart from the power connector and a cheap fan, the noise from which could be mistaken for a powered harddisk. :-)

  18. Bunker_Monkey


    Only in America.

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      It's a new take on an old scam

      Plenty of folk have been caught out with the old 'potatoes in the laptop case' scam in this country too, so much as I hate to do it, I'll have to ask you to lay off our transatlantic cousins until you can find something else to mock them for. Not that it should be too hard...

      1. JeepBoy

        It's older than that...

        The expression "Never buy a pig in a poke" shows a variant of this scam was practiced in "Merry Olde England" (where's the Gothic font El Reg?) back in the Middle Ages.

        The stupid dupe bought what he thought was a piglet at McD's Market Stall... hands over the groats... Then the switcheroo... and he gets a cat in a poke (small sack) to take home.

        Some scams never get old! :)

    2. Anonymous Coward


      There are Apple idiots the world over... Most of them have yet to TWIG that they are part of a global con.

  19. bertie bassett


    Just a 2011 update to the 'psst..wanna buy some speakers' con that's been running for a long long time.

    sucker and their money

  20. PhilipN Silver badge
    Big Brother

    You can run but you can't hide ..

    ..when Apple goes after them for breach of copyright.

    1. NoneSuch Silver badge

      @PhilipN - Actually, there is no infraction...

      The wood had square corners, not rounded ones...

      1. T.a.f.T.
        Thumb Down


        But is has Apple's logo on it! So that would really be a Trade mark violation which is usually much easier to make stick.

        1. John Bailey


          Especially if you use the right grade sand paper to give the paint a good keyed surface.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: "You can run but you can't hide .."

      "..when Apple goes after them for beech of copyright."

      There FTFY.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      not necessarily a trademark breach ...

      ... since it is not an electronic device.

      They could even claim that it is just an indication of which kind of wood had been used.

  21. deains

    In other news

    Apple begins patent lawsuit against two South Carolina men for the manufacture and distribution of replica iPads.

  22. Mark Chapman

    Influenced by Dilbert perhaps?

  23. Phil Standen

    Hang on.....

    Have Apple phoned to ask for their prototype back?

  24. Miek

    Dumb iGirl

    This is a 'classic' scam, it was on The Real Hustle in the UK as the laptop scam. If you want to know how it works; re-read the article.

  25. Gil Grissum

    Without checking inside the box??

    This definitely answers the question- "How stupid can someone be". An iPad for $180? An iPad for anything less than the retail price is a fishy proposition.

    1. dogged

      retail price

      Anyone prepared to pay anything for iPad is an idiot so the fraudsters know their market.

    2. Swiss


      An iPad for any money is a fishy proposition...

    3. dssf

      Well, she didn't look INside the box because she was

      Thinking OUTSIDE the box. Obviously, she heard the call to "Think Different..." LOL

  26. Bucket

    wooden ipads

    One of the Profs at Uni here (Aberdeen) carries around a A4 chalkboard with "ipad" and the apple logo drawn in pen on the back.

    Says is because it's cheaper and easier to use than the real thing.

    <--- Prof graphic as when he started they still academic gowns

  27. Paul 185


    ..that the Apple never falls far from the tree.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    But why?

    I don't understand why they went to the bother of painting a plank to vaguely look like an ipad.

    Did they think she might just hold off on telling the police because she might think the battery is flat?

    1. LaeMing

      In seriousness?

      Taking the Mick. Apparently even the crooks couldn't resist making fun of people who would fall for their scam.

  29. Mcbain

    Near Field Communication in next gen iPad?

    I think the salesmen tree dead her well, they obviously saw her coming.

    She'll never get board.

    100% recycleable.

    Don't mention Firesale.

  30. Ambertail

    Be fair

    I think we should leaf the poor girl alone. She's probably been chlorophylly mocked already. I suspect it'll probably be in vein anyway.

  31. b166er

    Actually Gil

    An iPad for any less than the retail price, might be worth considering.

    Then again...

    1. LaeMing

      There is always

      the refurb.

  32. Stefing

    "a piece of wood painted black with an Apple logo"

    I expect Apple's Army Of Lawyers (TM) to be on the case immediately.

  33. Albert Lederer

    An now for something obvious

    I wish someone would pay me $180.00 to fondly my wood.

    1. dssf

      Has it been de-burred?

      Or, will it give splinters? Nobody wants a stroke of bad luck, hahahaha

  34. Steve Evans


    How stupid are some people? This con has been pulled for so many years, with so many different items, that there is even an English idiom which came from the practice "Let the cat out of the bag".

    (To save looking it up, the cat is supposed to be a pig in a sack).

    1. Anonymous Coward

      It's also

      the origin of "pig in a poke" — poke being a bag.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    You mean some folk actually pay more than $300 for them ??? I'd have thought $180 was pushing it.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Silly Cow...

    Can't imagine someone actualy trying to buy "Food" at MacDonalds!

  37. amanfromearth

    Barking up the wrong tree

    Unless you're sycamore jokes..

    She knew she was beached when her new iPad wooden log on...

  38. Ian Zirins

    And it came with a virus....

    .....Dutch Elm Disease

    1. John Bailey


      Apple products don't get viruses. It was obviously a worm.

      Poplar misconception.

  39. Not Fred31

    at McDonalds buying food?

    Wow... she thought McDonalds were serving FOOD and she thought a block of wood was an IPAD...

  40. Pete 43

    Apples don't grow on trees

    And it really goes against the grain - I hope she's not "pine-ing"

    That's that out of the way now...

    Stupid bint.


  41. Paul RND*1000

    She could always

    Sell it on eBay as a "limited edition Apple promotional cutting board" or something. Except Apple would sue her.

    The moral of the story: if you're going to insist on buying hooky goods in a car park, at least make sure they're what they say they are before you hand over the notes.

  42. Figgus

    Apple will sue them...

    ... for copying the look and feel of the iPad 3.

    That is all.

  43. Drummer Boy

    I wonder if it was made from


  44. Neil 44

    Display quality

    ... is probably a bit grainy...

  45. Ironclad

    Apple to sue IKEA.....

    .....claim Skarsgaaard chair imitates 'look and feel' of iPlank.

  46. Willy

    Mine can do that too

    More often than not when trying to connect to hotel wi-fi my iPad2 behaves just like a slab of wood.

  47. Dave 32


    I hope it was at least apple wood, and not cheap pine.

    Ohoh, the next scam will be painting cherries on a piece of cherry wood shaped like a slot machine. :*)


  48. Bucky 2

    No Sympathy

    If someone approaches you in a parking lot trying to sell you something, the only reasonable presumption (if you think the object is genuine) is that you're being offered stolen merchandise.

    So, the woman thought she was participating in a crime when in fact she was simply the victim of a crime.

    No sympathy.

  49. Joe Montana

    Insult to injury

    This is such an old scam, and usually the box will contain something mundane... What makes this all the more insulting however, is that they actually went to the trouble of painting the block of wood.

    It's not as if the fact its painted helps the scam in any way, its blatantly obvious as soon as you open the box so why else would they do it other than to have a final laugh at the victim's expense?

  50. John70

    Missed one thick as two short planks...

  51. Armando 123


    Sounds more like a kindle(-ing).

    I feel like we should now here John Cleese from the I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again era say "Good evening, here are the tree jokes" with a barrage of puns about how she was "board" but is now

    "pining", the "beech", and complaining to her mother's father (known as "pawpaw") and she's seeing "red, bud" and I'll stop now.

    Mine's the one with "Paul Bunyan" in the pocket

  52. steogede

    Brick in a laptop bag

    Shirley this is just a twist on the brick on the laptop bag scam - i.e. meet someone in a pub (or other busy place) selling a laptop. Takes the laptop out, shows it working, puts it back in the bag, switches for a phony in a matching bag and hands over the phony.

    Nice twist putting the apple sticker on it though. Now the story is famous (published on a few geek sites, at least), she should sell it on e-bay. Better idea, I'll download a picture of a hot 24yo, get a chopping board and apple sticker and sell 'it' on e-bay myself.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      In keeping with the style

      You need to print out the picture of the fake iPad and stick that to chopping board. I mean, if you are going to make a fake fake (is a double negative a positive?) you have to do it right.

      This might also protect you from Apple as it's not you that has copied their logo.

  53. Mike Flugennock

    Those guys were scum, but...

    I have a hard time having any sympathy for the lady who was rooked. I mean, c'mon, man... an _iPad_ -- for $300? From two strangers in a goddamn' Mickey D's parking lot? Sounds like that gal got beat up with a stupid stick.

    Reminds me of the industrial park where I worked at my first design job about thirty years ago; there were these two guys who cruised around the place every day around lunchtime, selling speakers and stereo gear out of a step van. Oh, yeah, man, fersure, it's real Kenwood, it's real Jensen, real Bose, honest, man, really.

  54. Shane Kent

    Robble, robble...

    She can say iGotHad

  55. Mike Flugennock

    Reminds me of something that happened with Miniscribe...

    ...about fifteen years or so ago. Storage vendor Miniscribe, in deep trouble financially, was running short on stock and having trouble filling a large backlog of orders; they eventually resorted to putting bricks in boxes which were supposed to contain hard drives and shipping them to customers -- as if they actually believed they wouldn't be caught or called out on it. They filed for Chapter 7 shortly after this episode.

    The headline in MacWeek was hilarious, a sort of implied cause and effect: "Miniscribe Ships Bricks, Seeks Protection".

    No doubt Miniscribe's execs were "shipping bricks" after that...

  56. Anonymous John

    It could have been worse.

    Think how many victims there would have been if the scammer had claimed to be selling Touchpads.

    At least she ended up with a fondleplank ™ ®

  57. Anonymous Coward

    She couldn't

    cedar wood for the trees?

  58. clarknova

    Lucky to get it...


  59. Arbuthnot Darjeeling

    Apple logo

    where can I get one of these eco-friendly wooden ipads?

  60. Anonymous Coward


    They had run out of HP touchpads... and had heard rumours of a disastrous Fire sale.

    Flames... does it need explaining?

  61. Z80

    Perps still at larch

    I hope the copse catch them.

    1. Mike Flugennock

      re: Perps still at larch...

      ...the Larch. The... Larch.

  62. BitBotherer

    MDF News.

    Mom and dad had gone to Aspen a Poplar resort for the weekend so being quite a useless Beech and unable to cook she went with her friend Holly to macdonalds and had a Hickory smoked burger and pancakes with Maple syrup afterwards they smoked some Bush sitting under an Oak tree in the carpark and were approached by two guys and in Plane view of everyone in the restaurant sold them Knot an iPad but more an iBoard.

    Not one to Pine on her losses she moved to Oaklahoma to stay with her Elder sister where she lost her Cherry and soon Driftwooded into petty crime and was arrested for Larcheny and selling 'ash ..........

  63. Marcus Aurelius

    Ok here goes.

    At least this pad has error logging.

    Was the version of iOS on this model a branch or root release?

  64. Johnny Honk

    The upside...

    It has overtaken the HP WebOS Tablet in sales already...

  65. DanceMan

    South Carolina?

    Say no more.

  66. airwave

    top headline dude.

    The Register does it again, outstanding headline !

    made my morning, thank you.

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wood you believe it...

    That's all......

  68. streeeeetch

    Natural selection strikes again!

    We need a new kind of Darwin award here

  69. 88mm a.k.a. Minister for Misbehaviour

    That's no iPad

    it's Amazonian Kindle(ing)

    mine's the Ray Mears Ventile one.

  70. Frank Bitterlich
    Paris Hilton

    Quote from Gawker:

    " I mean, if you swipe the screen and get a splinter, you have to know something's up."

    That's the best one so far IMO.

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How long before..

    someone decides to make "copies" of the wooden ipad and sell them on ebay as just that. "Own your own iwoodypad" with the bidding starting at $30 and shipping at $10. And then they could go on to say "As seen on TV"

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