Walmart, London Drugs, Future Shop and Best Buy have all disclosed they have found the fake Apple tablet computers at their stores, CTV News reported Wednesday.
The network said someone has been buying iPad 2s, swapping the devices with clumps of modeling clay and then returning the resealed boxes to the store for refunds. When the switch goes undetected, the fakes wind up back on store shelves and are resold to unsuspecting customers, said CTV, which broke the story Monday.
Future Shop and Best Buy said up to 10 fake models were sold in the greater Vancouver area. London Drugs said it knew of four cases in the past month. Walmart officials said they are investigating fewer than 10 cases.
"It's really sad that people stoop to these low levels to take advantage of really hot sellers," Future Shop spokesman Elliott Chun said. "As you probably know, tablets were the No. 1 touted gift items for the holidays this year."
Future Shop, Best Buy and London Drugs said they now have their staff check to make sure all the components are in the box during the return process, CTV said. Walmart called the scam "upsetting" but had not made any return policy changes.
Vancouver police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the scam was news to them and had not started an investigation.