Meanwhile, in Manchester…

It’s been a good week for Manchester. City won the Premier League and it hasn’t rained every day. But there is a sinister underworld in Manchester which is exploiting the lower than average intelligence of people from… Manchester.


Greater Manchester Police are investigating a scam in which victims were conned into handing over hundreds of pounds for a bag of potatoes.

The story, which I spotted on BBC News, using the keywords “Manchester”, “Potato” and “Scam”, leaves us tantalisingly short on detail.

Police say at least four people have been approached by two men offering to sell them a laptop or iPhone.

One man paid up to £1,400 and walked away with a rucksack full of potatoes. Other victims received bottles of soft drinks.

Crime, and being a victim of crime, is a terrible thing. It’s in no way a thing to be ridiculed.

Except perhaps, when instead of getting an iPhone for his hard earned £1,400, the victim walks off with a rucksack full of potatoes. Which, it should be noted, would be equally good at displaying Flash content.

How can this have occurred? I can only imagine that there was some sort of hypnotism involved.

You are feeling sleepy…
You are feeling restful and sleepy…
When I click my fingers, you will awaken and believe that this rucksack full of potatoes is an iPhone worth £1,400.

And then, when they get home and the spell wears off, they have to go down to their local police station and report that they thought they were buying an iPhone, but actually, they ended up with a rucksack full of potatoes. And the police have got to keep a straight face. Jeez.

Still, it could be worse, I suppose. They could have ended up with a handful of Blackberry.

4 thoughts on “Meanwhile, in Manchester…

  1. The scam has been around for quite a while and is based on illusion.

    Offer to sell a high value electronic item (camera, notebook etc.).
    Show the victim the item for sale, let them hold it and make sure it works and start to gain their trust.
    Put item back into packaging and complete transaction (handing over of cash). This is the point when prospective customer’s focus has changed so switch the boxed up item with another identical box filled with something of a similar weight (in this case potatoes).

    If your victim is on to you then you still end up making a sale, if not then you get a tidy sum for items of little value.

  2. “Still, it could be worse, I suppose. They could have ended up with a handful of Blackberry.”

    I doubt that. The flaw in your argument is that in order for that swindle to take place, the Mancunian sucker would have to be interested in getting a BB in the first place.

    PS…as expected, the Missus’s BB has failed. Speaker is dying after just 1 year of the 2 year contract. It’s a wonderful instant messaging device now, but useless in it’s primary function of being a telephone…

  3. Reminds me of a really old joke….

    Joe Mercer is out shopping with his missus in Altrincham market and bumps into Matt Busby.

    Joe says “Hello Matt, fancy mseeing you here. Doing some errands?”

    Sir Matt replis “Aye, I’m getting potatoes for Pat Crerand”

    To which Joe quips “That’s a good swap”

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