Printer Friendly

The Real Hustle.

Byline: By Tryst Williams Western Mail

Anyone with a Digibox can tell you that the hunt for decent telly these days is like panning for gold in a sewage farm. In this digital age quantity and quality are less close bedfellows and more like a bitterly divorced couple who have assiduously avoided each other's company for decades.

And yet tucked in amongst all the dross - all those tedious 'reality' programmes, medical freak shows and endless reruns of the puerile Little Britain (don't get me started) - are little gems of watchability.

BBC Three's The Real Hustle, not to be confused with the lame fictional show Hustle, from which it takes its title, exposes scams.

But instead of being presented as a worthy yet dull consumer-style expose (think Watchdog or X-Ray) it's an entertaining romp through the world of cons and rip-offs. 'Confidence trickster' Alex Conran, 'scam artist' Paul Wilson and 'sexy swindler' Jessica-Jane Clement, pictured, are the sparkling presenters who actually carry out some of today's most notorious scams on unsuspecting members of the public. Yet this programme genuinely attempts to educate naive consumers.

Real Hustle has informed viewers about everything from 'the mustard dip' (an elaborate pickpocketing ruse involving messing a victim's clothes and then pretending to help them clean up) to 'bluejacking' (electronically hijacking a bluetooth mobile phone so that it calls the swindlers' pounds 1.50-a-minute phone-line).

That last scam is an example of how many modern cons rely on new technology, like the WiFi hacks or keystroke-logging software that can lay bare all your bank details, personal details and internet activities.

Yet many of the cons featured are as old as the proverbial hills, like the 'Three card monte' (find the lady) game - long a staple of old movies, usually played by rum-looking coves lurking on street corners and playing off a beat-up old wooden crate. Startlingly, people still fall for this trick.

So good are our presenters they can steal a pounds 600 necklace from under a shopkeeper's nose thanks to the cunning use of psychological techniques (mainly the 'social compliance' that makes us obey authority figures) and even fool a man into paying pounds 500 for a worthless lottery ticket. All members of the public who are conned are fully informed of the scams afterwards and repaid any money. Tryst Williams: Some of Britain's most popular 'hustlers':1. The rental scam Rogue house-sitters or even burglars show would-be tenants around properties that aren't even theirs after producing bogus adverts. They then pressure several victims throughout the day into putting down deposits for the house or flat, but are then never heard from again. 2. The 'police' scam A fraudster enters a jewellery shop to buy an expensive item but the purchase is interrupted by a bogus 'police officer' who claims they were trying to pay with counterfeit cash. The shocked shop assistant is then duped into handing over the item as 'evidence' as the fraudster is frog-marched out of the shop to freedom by his accomplice. 3. The 'Jam auction' This involves 'jamming' a big crowd into a shop which has been taken over for a few days by a gang. 'Lucky' customers are then persuaded to part with their money for 'mystery bags' apparently filled with cheap-as-chips electronic items. As soon as the victims parts with their cash they are bundled out of the shop and left to discover that they've just bought a pile of worthless rubbish.
COPYRIGHT 2006 MGN Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2006 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Nov 18, 2006
Words:574
Previous Article:Join the oldest boy band in the world.
Next Article:What you want, and what you actually get ...
Topics:

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters