Igor Baksht made a big Christmas purchase from a Colorado Walmart last Friday — a PlayStation 4 bundle for his 13-year-old niece.
But as he was about to wrap the box, Baksht opened it to be certain "everything was inside, that all the contents were inside, all the games were inside," he told KMGH-TV.
Then he got a shock: "When I opened it, I said, 'Oh my God.'"
Instead of a PlayStation 4, the box contained two plastic bags full of rocks, Baksht said.
The Stapleton Walmart where he'd made the purchase had closed, so Baksht tried a 24-hour one — but staff there said he had to go to the store where he bought the item.
So first thing Saturday morning, he went back — and got nowhere.
"He said they cannot do anything about it because they don't have proof, how it came in, nothing," Baksht told KMGH, adding that he called the store more than a few times, as well as the corporate office.
"I never stole anything in my life," he told the station. "The most criminal thing that I've did, I got a driving ticket."
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7NEWS was skeptical of his story, but in previous years other customers have been duped by the same scam. In 2012, an Alabama boy opened his Nintendo 3DS and found a box of rocks. In the last couple of years, multiple people found notebooks inside their newly opened iPad boxes.
When Baksht bought the Playstation, he told KMGH, the employee who took it out of a locked cabinet said it was a previously returned item and that it felt a bit heavy.
"I've never bought one before, so I don't know how much it has to weigh," Baksht told the station.
Finally, on the afternoon of Christmas Eve, the store manager called Baksht and told him to return the box and gave him his money back. It isn't clear exactly which PlayStation 4 package Baksht purchased, but Walmart's Ultimate Value Bundle with an extra controller and choice of two games costs between $539 and $549.
A Walmart spokesman told the station they couldn't confirm his story but gave the customer the benefit of the doubt.
Baksht told KMGH his advice for other shoppers: check the contents of your purchase — or else you might be giving a box full of rocks as a Christmas present.
This story has been updated.