Famed for its versatility in cooking, another use was found for the humble potato this week, according to reports from always reliable gossip site Ananova.

A not-very-elaborate scam in Germany saw punters duped by British con artists into paying £600 for what they thought was a bag of second-hand MP3 players. On closer inspection, however, the contents turned out to be not iPods but... spuds.

Police are now warning shoppers to beware of a surge in chip and PIN fraud.