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Portsmouth student peeled in potato laptop scam

£600 for a bag of spuds

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A student in Portsmouth has fallen victim to the classic potato PC scam, parting with £600 for nothing more than a bag full of spuds, the Portsmouth News reports.

The unnamed 27-year-old was shown a bagged Sony laptop by a "man in the back of a car" parked at the rear of Debenhams in Slindon Street, Portsmouth, on 6 March. He agreed to cough the cash, and was given "an identical laptop bag". He later discovered it contained merely organic material suitable for conversion into chips, rather than the silicon variety.

PC Allison Fraser of Fratton Police cautioned: "I would advise members of the public to refrain from buying high-value goods from people out of the back of cars or vans. If you do choose to make a purchase, ensure that you have the goods before you hand over any money."

The heist was perpetrated by two ne'er-do-wells: the salesman, described as white, British, between 40 and 50 years old and 5ft 6ins and 5ft 8ins in height, and with grey hair; and the car's driver, "of Asian appearance, between 20 and 30 years old, 5ft 6ins, with short-black hair and wearing a green top and jeans".

Portsmouth News has further details, including police contact numbers, here.

Long-term readers will, of course, be familiar with the laptop tuber ruse. Back in 2005, the Met warned South London students to beware of another pair of miscreants who were targeting Southwark unis and colleges with £200 PCs. ®

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