By Alexandra Burlacu | Aug 05, 2013 06:27 AM EDT
An Australian woman likely bought the most expensive apples ever, paying AU$1,500 (roughly US$1335) for what she thought were Apple smartphones.
A 21-year-old woman from Brisbane, Australia, wanted to purchase iPhones online, so she chose to seek the merchandise on Gumtree, an online classfields website similar to Craigslist.
According to The Herald Sun, police from the Upper Mt Gravatt Crime Prevention unit said the woman, who wished to remain unnamed, placed an ad on Gumtree saying that she was interested in buying some iPhones.
Soon after she posted the ad, another woman contacted her, claiming to have two of the Apples the woman was looking for. The two women agreed to meet at a McDonald's in Sunnybank to make the transaction. After paying $1,500 Australian dollars, the conned woman received to iPhone boxes that looked sealed and brand new, and she didn't think to check inside to see what she was actually paying for.
When the buyer returned home and finally opened the iPhone boxes she found two apples, one in each box. More specifically, she found two real, edible apples, not the Apple iPhone variety. While fresh fruit are surely great, spending $750 on one apple definitely beats anything.
In light of this event and others like it, Senior Constable Jenn Hopkin from the Upper Mt Gravatt Crime Prevention Unit warned people about the risks of making such purchases online.
"Don't stay away because most people are doing the right thing, but be smart about what you buy," said Hopkin, as cited by The Herald Sun. "If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. It's really just common sense."
Gumtree, the site that facilitated this unfortunate exchange, is a legitimate website with many successful transactions, but scammers always find a way to take advantage of others. Gumtree spokeswoman Niki Hennessy said the company is doing its best to ensure the safety and security of its users. As it turns out, it doesn't always work.
"We are continually improving processes and user education to make Gumtree the safest possible platform for buying and selling," said Hennessy. Const. Hopkin, meanwhile, highlighted the importance of reporting any scam to police.
If there's anything to be learned here, it's to be very wary when making a purchase, especially if it involves a considerable sum of money. Trusting strangers is obviously not a good idea and checking the boxes might have saved this Australian woman from a lot of trouble.
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