The experience of a Brisbane woman provides a handy reminder to exercise caution when buying gadgetry via classified ad sites.

The Herald Sun (via Gizmodo) reports that the 21-year-old paid AUS$1500 (US$1335) for what she thought were two seemingly-new iPhones, boxed and sealed, without checking inside. Once she got home, she unsealed the two boxes to find each did indeed contain an apple – unfortunately it was the fruit rather than the phone.

The two women arranged to meet at Sunnybank McDonald’s where the transaction took place. The woman paid $1500 and was handed two iPhone boxes that looked new but she did not check inside.

When the buyer returned home she opened the phone boxes to find apples in them – real apples, not the iPhone variety.

We don’t know whether the scammer had a cruel sense of humor, or somehow imagined the ruse might allow them to talk their way out of it if caught, but a few simple precautions are always advised when buying from a stranger. Always meet in a public place like a coffee-shop, scout out a nearby ATM that you can use to withdraw the cash after you’ve checked the goods – and of course always open the boxes and make sure the products are fully-functional.

There’s a handy checklist in this Apple Support Communities thread.

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About the Author

Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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