The Real Hustle
Inspired by the popular BBC drama series of a similar name, The Real Hustle shows how easy it is to be the subject of a con. We are introduced to the three key players of:
- Alex – confidence trickster
- Jess – sexy swindler
- Paul – scam artist
According to the programme, “all of the people in this show have been hustled for real and after being given their money back, they agreed that the footage could be shown so you can avoid being ripped off by the same scams”.
The mantra of The Real Hustle is to “find something, all you need to do is something that somebody wants.” We were shown a number of scams including:
Gadget scam – Jess meets with clients in a café and after receiving a phone call, takes them off to meet her contact in a pub. Paul is waiting with an electronic device and hidden cameras. The gadget puts £50 of credit on their Oyster travel card
The Client begins to be suspicious as to whether or not the card has been credited and he is taken to a newsagent (with a reader) to check. There is £50 on the card and the clients paid £220 for the a worthless case of electronics with LED lights . When demonstrating how the gadget could be used, Paul did a swap of the client’s original card (worth £16) with that for a £50 card. The moral of the story was not to do business in a pub or anything that does not sound legal
We are then showed a scam about a game of 3-card brag – each player is dealt three cards and each person bets on how good they think their hand is. Some people play blind (not looking at the cards) and betting. When someone plays blind, everyone else has to play double the money. Cards were then marked (with a nail nick), so that you could play blind, but have an indication what the cards are. But how does the dealer know which cards to mark? A reflective surface (a cup of black coffee) was close t the cards and enabled the dealer to see what they were.
We were also shown various other hustles including stealing a passport and selling advertising space in a fake magazine (worryingly sold by someone impersonating a Policeman. An interesting programme with a set of guides on how to avoid being scammed.