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Greater Manchester police are appealing for help after a number of people who thought they were laying hands on a shiny new iPhone ended up with a sack of spuds instead.

The conmen approached people in car-parks and on the street to ask them if they fancied buying laptops or iPhones, but actually gave them some totally random other thing in a bag.

One victim, a 38-year-old man, was approached on the forecourt of a petrol station by two men who asked if he wanted to buy two laptops for £1,400. He reckoned that was a good deal, withdrew the money and handed it over. The men handed him a bag before driving off in a silver Vauxhall Vectra.

When he opened it, he discovered the bag was filled with potatoes.

The potato-bit must be a good one, since a 24-year-old fell for that trick as well. He handed over £150 for a laptop that turned out to contain the wrong sort of chips, and this time the conmen took off in a green Vauxhall car.

Other victims have been conned with bags of bottled water or bottles of Coke and in some cases they were actually shown the iPhone or laptops they were "buying" when they were unsure.

The men have been described as white, in their late 30s and both with Eastern European accents. One of them has a scarred face from acne, is around 6ft tall and has a stubble or a goatee, the police said.

“I would ask anyone who may have fallen victim to these two men to contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or report online at actionfraud.org.uk," said Detective Constable Michelle Wilkinson from the Economic Crime Desk, adding that people shouldn't give them any money.

“Please be mindful that if you are approached by anyone who are selling electrical goods it is highly likely they have been stolen and by buying the goods, you will also be breaking the law by handling stolen items.” ®

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