BEWARE! LATEST LAPTOP SCAM COULD COST YOU £600!!!

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A STORY TO TAKE WARNING FROM

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Peering into the boot of the car at the back of Debenhams, a trainee plumber thought he was on to a bargain.

The top-of-the-range laptop, complete with case, was just what he needed and after a lengthy inspection he decided the £600 price tag was too good to miss.

But what the 27-year-old did not realise was that he was being targeted in a classic switch that saw him leave the car park £600 down, with no computer and a laptop bag full of potatoes.

"I would advise members of the public to refrain from buying high value goods from people out of the back of cars or vans," PC Allison Fraser of Hampshire police said yesterday.

According to detectives the man failed to spot that the laptop bag he had first seen had been switched for one containing potatoes until he was on his way home.

"If you do choose to make a purchase, ensure that you have the goods before you hand over any money," Fraser added.

Police said the conman, aged between 40 and 50, was responsible for a string of similar scams across the south of England. His victim was given a demonstration on the laptop before agreeing to buy it. But when he returned with the cash, he was given an identical laptop case containing the potatoes.

Yesterday detectives said the switch, which took place on Thursday, was linked to three similar incidents in London, Wolverhampton and Wiltshire. They are trying to trace a blue Ford Escort estate, registration number M235 GDD, which is believed to be linked to all the incidents.

In a separate incident, police said a fake furniture salesman tricked five women aged 17 to 62 out of hundreds of pounds for furniture that was never delivered. PC Jo Hazleton, of Dorset police, said: "The man responsible promises that he can get furniture at much reduced prices and takes a deposit, but he never turns up with the goods."
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