Sack of potatoes cost woman £750
A woman was duped into paying £750 for a sack of potatoes by fraudsters - who pretended they were electrical goods.
The horrified victim, from Ribbleton, Preston, believed she was paying a bargain price for two laptops and three mobile phones.
The conmen, who are believed to be Polish, even showed her what she thought she was buying before she handed over the cash - but switched the bag for one containing a sack of spuds.
The trusting woman only discovered the fraud when they had gone.
It comes after a 28-year-old Preston man fell victim to a similar scam in which he thought he had bought an i-Phone and laptop - but found they had been replaced by two bottles of water.
Detectives in Preston, who are linking the two frauds, are appealing for other potential victims who may not have reported the crime to come forward.
Det Insp Dave McKenna of Preston CID, said: “This is a very unusual but orchestrated fraud, and one that members of public must be vigilant against.
“If you are offered electrical goods for sale on the street do not accept it.
“If it seems too good to be true it probably is.
“The goods are probably stolen.”
In the first case a woman was approached by two Eastern European men on Beenland Street in Ribbleton, Preston, who offered the goods for sale at £750.
The first offender was of a large build with cropped hair and drove a Vauxhall vehicle.
It is being linked to a fraud on May 27 in the city, close to Deepdale Retail Park.
A man was approached by a group of three men as he was gardening in the front garden of his home on Dixon Avenue, in Deepdale.
They offered to sell him a laptop and i-Phone for £220.
The man accepted and they all went to the nearby Shell garage forecourt to do the transaction.
But while he was distracted the fraudsters replaced the goods with two bottles of water.
The three conmen had been travelling in a blue Ford vehicle.