Police are appealing for information after a number of similar fraud crimes across Manchester.
At around 1pm on Wednesday 15 February 2012, a 40-year-old man was approached by two men as he walked through The Rock, Bury and was asked whether he wanted to buy an iPhone or laptop.
The victim sat inside a silver Vauxhall Vectra where he was shown both items and agreed a price of £900. He withdrew cash and returned to the car, handing over the money.
The victim was given a rucksack before both men drove off. Inside, he realised he had been left with three bottles of water.
At around 12pm on Sunday 29 April 2012, the 38-year-old victim was approached on the forecourt of a petrol station on Princess Road, Hulme by two men asking whether he wanted to buy two laptops for £1,400.
The victim agreed and withdrew money before handing them the cash. They gave him a bag and drove off in a silver Vauxhall Vectra.
When he opened it, he discovered it contained potatoes.
At around 3.15pm on Tuesday 1 May 2012, a 24-year-old victim was approached by two men on Angouleme Retail Park, Bury and asked whether he wanted to buy a laptop for £150.
They showed him the laptop before he agreed and withdrew cash from a nearby ATM, accompanied by one of the men.
When they returned, another man handed the victim a bag before they left in a green Vauxhall car.
The victim opened the bag where he realised it contained potatoes.
Both men are also believed to have targeted a 19-year-old man who was outside his home on Burlington Street, Ashton-under-Lyne.
He agreed to buy an Iphone and laptop for £660 and gave them money before being left with a bag he thought contained the items.
He opened the bag and found bottles of coke.
The men are described as white, late 30s, and of stocky or large build. One man has a scarred face from acne, is around 6ft tall and has stubble or a goatee beard. Both spoke with Eastern European accents.
Detective Constable Michelle Wilkinson from the Economic Crime Desk 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 www.actionfraud.org.uk.
“It is likely they are continuing to target people across Greater Manchester and I would urge anyone who is approached by them to not give them 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.”
Anyone with information should phone police on 0161 872 5050 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.