As many as 24 iPad 2 devices have been swapped for modelling clay at major Canadian retailers over the holidays. The clay, packaged into an iPad 2 box, was then sold to a number of customers in Future Shop, Best Buy, Walmart, and London Drugs stores. CTV News, who investigated the cases this week, reports that the clay was sold in "perfectly sealed" iPad 2 boxes. In a clear case of classic scam, fraudsters appear to be purchasing iPad 2 devices and swapping them out with clay, only to return them sealed to retailers. In some cases, the scammers even swapped the charger out for clay.

Future Shop and Best Buy say up to 10 clay iPad boxes were sold in their Metro Vancouver stores, both companies are launching major fraud investigations as a result. Walmart has not confirmed an exact figure, but is investigating less than 10 cases, and London Drugs says it is aware of four instances in the last month. Local police are not involved in any of the investigations just yet, but Apple has confirmed it is part of the investigation. If you're planning to purchase an iPad 2 in Canada soon then you might want to check the box before you leave the store, clay is fun but it's no iPad replacement.