Looking for the new iFake?

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The fake iPads currently scamming consumers probably holds as much value as this ‘Apple iPad’.

Many consumers are getting their hands on the new iFake. What is the iFake? They are told to be plastic panels with painted on dots for the speakers and home button. They do not turn on, but merely imitate the size and weight of the real iPad.

“When I got home and opened the box, I thought it was a real iPad,” New Jersey woman Jamie Frick told the Newark Star-Ledger. “I took out the charger and then tried to plug it in the iPad, and that is when I started to notice everything.”

Many of these cases have been reported, especially in the past six months.

But how do these imitations find their way into store shelves?Numerous scammers are currently replacing a real iPad in the box with a fake, only to return the box to get a refund. Another theory to how these get on shelves is the fact that employees might be swindling in the storeroom. Once these boxes get back on shelves, people buy them, spending more than 500 dollars for an imitation.

Buyers of these iFakes try to return the scam to receive the 500 dollars they spent, but many stores are denying the return because of the risk that these people might be scamming the stores. Dianna Gee, a spokesperson for Wal-mart, informed CNN that they are working to stop this problem.

“We’re actively reviewing our transactional records, and then going back and looking at the video that matches up with that to determine how this product is getting back on our shelves,” she said. “If it appears that it is fraudulent, we will share all that information with local law enforcement.”

So all in all, buyers beware. Here are some tips to avoid spending your money for a fake:

1) Never buy something expensive (like an iPad) from a small or unknown website. These unknown sites are unknown for a reason. They are usually scam websites who will not even bother to go as far as sending you a fake.

2) Never buy from a store or website that sells a product for much cheaper than big retailers such as Best Buy or Wal-mart. One might think that buying a iPad for 100 dollars cheaper is a deal. It would be, if you were getting the real deal. These cheaper prices are there to deceive a consumer, or in other words, scamming them.

3) If you are able to, open the box to see the actual product. Many stores are currently encouraging this and will allow you to do this as long as you are sure you will buy the product. If the one you open is fraudulent, you can let the store deal with that and find one that isn’t.

4) Utilize the serial number. One can easily check back with the manufacturer of the product (Apple) and verify their serial number on the box. By doing this, one will know whether the product in the box has previously been sold and returned.