Scams are prevalent in the high-tech age we now live in. Scam emails, scam websites, all hugely common, and of course there are real life scams too.
But forget market stalls selling dodgy “Rolex” watches for fifty quid, a Chinese scam has taken retail trickery to a whole a new level. An entirely fake Apple store, actually several of them, have sprung up in Kunming in southwest China.
According to the blogger “Bird Abroad”, she walked into a store near her home in Kunming and was initially impressed and surprised that Apple had opened a local outlet.
Until she realised a few things didn’t add up, and indeed this wasn’t an official Apple store.
Bird Abroad wrote: “I went inside and poked around. They looked like Apple products. It looked like an Apple store. It had the classic Apple store winding staircase and weird upstairs sitting area. The employees were even wearing those blue t-shirts with the chunky Apple name tags around their necks.”
Then the little flaws presented themselves – that winding staircase wasn’t very well built. The walls weren’t painted properly. The signs in the window said “Apple Store” and didn’t just have the iconic Apple logo.
Yes, there are entire fake stores out there, and apparently even the employees in this one had been convinced that they were working for Steve Jobs by the local con-man who really ran this operation.
Presumably all the products on sale fell off the back of a lorry, too, although Bird Abroad did say she wasn’t sure if they were real or not. Check out the photographic evidence on her blog page.
In actual fact, Apple only has a few stores in Beijing and Shanghai, and even these are recently constructed.
In a way, it’s quite impressive – an entire fake shop is certainly a step on from a suitcase down the market. We’re betting Apple’s big cheeses probably won’t be impressed, however.