SEALY, Texas -- A Sealy family fell victim to a fraudulent Walmart store return.

Bobbi Linden said she recently stretched her budget to buy her daughter the gift.

I bought her an Apple iPad from Walmart, she said.

Not even a half hour later, she gave it to her for her 15th birthday. But when the teenager opened it, she said there was no iPad inside.

I thought they were joking, Courtney Akers said. And they weren t.

Even though the box had been sealed in plastic, someone had somehow put a stack of notepads inside. It apparently gave the box the feel of an iPad.

The family went back to the store. After more than two hours, they said the manager was still not able to resolve the matter.

I explained I wouldn t have done that, and that we do not have an iPad, Linden said. She was just saying she has never seen it happen before and she couldn t help us.

You think you d get some respect as you re trying to figure out the problem, Akers said.

Eventually they left.

On Wednesday KHOU 11 News contacted Walmart s corporate office, which tracked the box and confirmed the family had been the victim of someone else s fraudulent return.

A spokesperson said they will send them a free iPad, along with their apologies. The company will also submit all available evidence to police.

It is unknown whether other bogus boxes could still be out there.

Walmart Statement:

With the information you provided us, we were able to trace the product history and determine that this is a case involving a fraudulent return. Unfortunately it resulted in an innocent customer falling victim to a scam artist s greed.

It appears someone previously purchased the iPad, removed the contents and resealed it in a manner that clearly resembles factory packaging. We have reviewed our surveillance video to see if we can find out who is responsible for this and we are sharing that information with local law enforcement in hopes that whoever is behind this is held responsible for their selfish acts.

We never want our customers to have a bad experience and we want to focus on doing what is right for the customer. We are in the process of reaching out to Ms. Linden to offer her a full refund, a new iPad and an apology for the mix-up. (Dianna Gee, Spokesperson)

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