Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/10/05/spuds_laptop/

Spuds for laptop fraudsters strike in Huntingdon

Fresh sighting of autumn crop con

By Joe Fay

Posted in Security, 5th October 2010 13:22 GMT

The potatoes for laptop bait-and-switch fraudsters have been at it again, relieving a couple in Huntingdon of £650 in exchange for a bag of spuds and a few bits of cardboard.

BBC Cambridgeshire reports that the unfortunate couple were approached in Huntington High Street last week by a man supposedly punting a second-hand laptop.

He showed them a laptop in a rucksack, and they then went to withdraw £650 in cash to buy said PC.

They then handed over the cash, but after the vendor made his excuses and left, they opened the bag to see they had nothing to show for their readies but a bag of potatoes and some cardboard.

The police have said the alleged vendor was white, aged about 30, at least 6 foot tall and had reddish brown hair and stubble. There was no description of the laptop, or the potatoes.

Last week's scam marks a return to form for practitioners of the root veg for laptop bait and switch.

We've seen a steady stream of stories where fraudsters take money off gullible marks only to palm them off with a sack of spuds. Last month we saw a stylish change of pace when a fraudster in Reading used onions instead of potatoes to pull off a similar scam.

This may have indicated a new gang moving in on the not terribly lucrative scam. Alternatively, the con artists may have been caught between their early crop and late crop spuds, necessitating the use of the much more pungent substitute. ®