Fake Identity Fake Britain


Fake Identity

Dominic Littlewood reveals the extent of people using fake identities. We follow UK Border officials, and show how a man with no qualifications operated as a dentist.


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Transcript


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These are ordinary houses in an ordinary street and they could be anywhere in the country,

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but the house I'm in, is stuffed with fake goods and your home could be, too.

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Welcome to a world where everything is not quite as it seems.

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Welcome to Fake Britain.

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Police! Stay where you are.

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In this series, I'll investigate the world of fakes and forgeries

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and show you how not to get conned.

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I'll be looking at things like fake cars, fake cash,

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even fake medicines, but today, I am looking at fake people.

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Yes, con artists who are pretending to be someone they're not.

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Coming up on the programme...

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-We are in.

-Police. Move the door.

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Fake workers. And the Border Agency team's tracking them down.

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We meet Heathrow Airport's expert forgery spotters.

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That is not a photograph of you. I know that you are lying to me about what your name is.

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She thought she'd married a doctor but she'd married a fake.

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I said my name's Georgina Miles, who are you...

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because it seemed quite clear that I knew nothing about this man

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who, just two weeks ago, I'd married.

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And no training and no qualifications -

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the story of the fake dentist who conned 600 patients.

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The list of risks will go on and on and on

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and in the worst-case scenario, might of course lead to patient death.

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First, we join the front line of the battle against fake people.

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This is an enforcement team from the UK Border Agency.

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One of their biggest targets are people who are in the UK illegally and using fake ID to stay here.

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It's barely 6am, but two illegal workers in Surrey are about to get an early wake-up call.

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We are in.

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The Border Agency think they've identified two men living here who are working in the UK illegally.

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To help them prove it, they need to find whatever fake documents the men have been using to fool employers.

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-So are you Brazilian?

-Yes.

-Yeah. OK.

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Are you working at the moment?

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-Yeah.

-You are. Do you want to put the T-shirt on?

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-Yeah, no problem.

-Yeah.

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A Brazilian working in the UK would need to have sponsorship

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from his employer, but this chap's got something else instead.

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We found a Portuguese ID card.

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It was just out on the side, on his unit, in his wallet,

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so he's been using it every day, and we know it's a forgery.

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So, we know that he's Brazilian and not Portuguese.

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And there are certain things in the card that tell you that it's genuine or a forgery.

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The Border team think this man came on holiday and overstayed,

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and he just bought the fake ID and started working.

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They think his housemate has done the same.

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I'm further arresting you for being in possession of an identity card that is not yours.

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The second man also had a fake Portuguese ID card.

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As an EU member, a legitimate Portuguese ID card would allow the holder to work here legally.

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But the game's up. By the end of the week, they were deported back to Brazil.

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Heathrow, the world's busiest international airport.

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More than 60 million passengers pass through here every year,

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but some are not who they say they are.

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The airport has a team of specialist anti-forgery officers, experts at spotting

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the fraudulent documents used to get in to the country illegally.

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Immigration officers in the terminal are highly suspicious of a woman who has just landed.

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They decide to reject her passport.

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It's up to forgery officer, Gary Reeves, to see if she is who she claims to be.

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Well, the lady's flown in today from Lagos, via Casablanca.

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And when she arrived here, she presented her passport.

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The immigration officer on the desk had a quick look at the passport,

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looked at the photo on the biodata page and on the visa, and didn't think it was the passenger.

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She thought the passenger was an impersonator.

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Gary suspects the passenger has bought a stolen passport.

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Photographs of the real holder are printed directly on the page.

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But in other places, the photos only have to be stuck on.

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Gary thinks the real ones have been replaced with photos of the woman, sitting in front of him.

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-I can't tell you lies.

-Well, you are, you are.

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This is not you.

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This is a photograph of you.

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This is a photograph of you.

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But that is not a photograph of you. And this is definitely not a photograph of you, is it?

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Gary has tried to see if the woman wants to come clean.

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No joy. But he's about to produce one crucial piece of evidence.

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We issued a visa to this lady here...

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look at the photo... and we took her fingerprints.

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You understand that?

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Now, when we took your fingerprints earlier on,

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we have checked your fingerprints against this lady's

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and they are not the same.

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Do you have anything to tell me now?

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What you will gain from lying is that if you don't tell me who you are,

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you think I can't send you back home.

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I know that you are lying to me about what your name is,

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so I will not be able to believe anything else you tell me.

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The woman won't change her story, but Gary feels he has overwhelming evidence she is a fake.

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Later... she was refused entry to the UK.

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As well as millions of people, Heathrow Airport also handles over a million tonnes of cargo every year.

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And the Border Agency know that somewhere amongst the packages,

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fraudsters are attempting to smuggle in the means to create fake identities.

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A lot of our work is intelligence-led

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where we'll target perhaps,

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a specific importer, or a particular country or countries,

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perhaps known to export a lot of false identity documents.

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Straightaway, Russ has found a package that doesn't feel right.

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The description on the package is copper fittings.

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So, it might be a sample

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which has come through from China to a company in this country.

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But when we open it up...

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we've actually got six of these.

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And these are... They look like

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embossing seals...

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..for Nottingham Trent University.

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So, you'd presumably use those to make a false degree certificate...

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or forge some type of educational paperwork.

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A UK forger could be having these sent in, and if people are buying fake certificates,

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they'll use them to convince employers they've got important qualifications.

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They could be taking jobs at the expense of legitimate candidates.

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And the search has turned up another suspicious find.

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It's a fast parcel,

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and it's come from West Africa, from Lagos, in Nigeria...

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and contains a brown paper envelope.

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And, inside the envelope...

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..is a magazine.

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When you open the magazine up,

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inside, there's this concealment

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which they've made out of carbon paper

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because they believe that x-rays can't get through it.

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When that was opened, there was a passport inside.

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We're going to detain this package and we'll refer it to the NDFU,

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the National Document Forgery Unit.

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They'll be able to use their expertise to tell us whether the passport is a forgery or not.

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This is the secret base of the National Document Fraud Unit.

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We can't reveal its location for security reasons,

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but the teams here have worked on high-profile cases like Lockerbie and the shoe bomber, Richard Reid.

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They are the country's foremost experts in identifying counterfeits.

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And in Fake Britain, they are being kept busy.

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Right now, they've got the passport from Heathrow to examine.

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It's a Nigerian passport...

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but what jumps out at me immediately, is the fact that the top portion of the page is blue.

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Ordinary Nigerian passports, the page should be green.

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The blue passports are reserved for service passports

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so it's the wrong type of page for this particular passport.

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I'm just going to have a quick look at the actual document, itself.

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This is a genuine Nigerian passport that I'm just going to use for comparison.

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Nigerian passports, the image of the holder is printed, digitally, directly on to the page.

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I'm just going to magnify that.

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So, zooming right in on the image, you can see that the image

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is printed using a series of dots and they're in a specific pattern.

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Having a look then, at the document in question,

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you can see that the image structure there, is just different

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to the one we've just seen, so that, to me, hasn't been printed

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by the Nigerian Authorities. Also looking at the printed text,

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you've got this green text, here, which is printed onto the laminate.

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You can see there's quite a few breaks in the text and damage to the text, to the G, in particular.

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And also, elsewhere there are parts where the ink is missing.

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I'll show you what the genuine should look like.

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There you go. You can see you've got quite solid lines of text...

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solid blocks of ink.

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In my opinion, this document is a forgery.

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The laminate's been split away.

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The original page has been removed and a new page,

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with a new holder's details and new image, has been inserted into the laminate pouch.

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So this document is a forgery.

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As a result of this confirmation, Nigerian Wellington Otoghele

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was arrested and given a 20-week jail sentence for attempting to obtain a fake passport.

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He wasn't tricky to arrest. His name and address were on the front of the envelope found by the Border Agency.

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Coming up... She thought she'd married a doctor in the British Army, but she'd married a fake.

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And the very real danger with fake gas-fitters.

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The paperwork wasn't correct.

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It was all forged.

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How much do we really know about the people around us?

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You know, the people we work with, or the people who might even knock at our door.

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Well, one of the most frightening identity frauds in Fake Britain

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could be happening on a road right near you.

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This covert surveillance video from the Driving Standards Agency

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shows the man on the right about to take a practical driving test.

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40 minutes later, he had passed,

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as he had done many times before across the country.

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But he's not the real candidate.

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He's passing tests for other people.

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He's put dozens of potentially dangerous, unqualified drivers

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on the roads. And he's not the only one.

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This man walked into a driving test centre in Liverpool, to take the theory section of a driving test.

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You need to pass this as well as the practical test to get your licence.

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But on the same day, here he is again doing the same thing.

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But this time, down in Coventry, and he's given a different name.

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Weeks later, he's at Wolverhampton to take another driving theory test,

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again, under a different name.

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After that, he's in Stockport.

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He's given a different name, but once again, he's here for a driving theory test.

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But this man isn't taking the test time and time again because he keeps failing,

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he's taking it because he keeps passing - on behalf of other people.

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He is a fake candidate.

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He's part of a criminal gang, who, for up to £1,500, will pass your driving test for you.

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And they don't care how unsafe your driving is on the road, afterwards.

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Some people have a perception that this is done by friends

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doing it for friends, or family, but it's not.

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The vast majority, 99%, of this, is done by organised crime gangs.

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Hello. Police. Can you open the door, please?

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But, today could be a bad day for the theory test faker.

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The Driving Standards Agency and the police

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have tracked him down to this flat.

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Someone's in, but it's not the suspect. He's gone to work.

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Hello there.

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The police believe he's left important evidence at home,

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and they think they've seen this jacket before.

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We've got the image of a person taking somebody else's test.

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If he decides that he's going to deny that the image is his,

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then having the clothing seized from his home address,

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that appears on the image, assists.

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The DSA team know the factory where the man works, so it's time to pay a visit there.

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Later, we'll discover if they finally found the test faker.

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In Birmingham city centre, parking your car can be an expensive business,

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and that's led some people to commit a shameless fraud.

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They're pretending to be disabled, because one of these badges means you can park for free.

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This is one of the areas identified, over the last few weeks,

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where there's a very high proportion of vehicles displaying blue badges

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being parked, during the day.

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We've come to see if those vehicles turn up again today, to see who's driving them,

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and to try and confirm our suspicions that the person

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holding the blue badge is not the one using the vehicle.

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Gary and Rachel are from the council's Blue Badge fraud team.

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They've had this small stretch of road under surveillance for several days.

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The same vehicles are parked here every day...

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and displaying blue badges.

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The council have checked who the badges belong to, and it's not the people they see parking the cars.

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It's an offence to use a blue badge, unless the person it was issued to is in the car.

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First off, they've seen this Mini parking here before, with a blue badge.

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-That one should be Mrs

-BLEEP,

-aged 83.

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Well, she's certainly not 83.

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-I'd put her in her mid-40s...

-But watch this one...

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The driver is off, without paying to park, and has this in her front window.

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But she's not entitled to a disabled badge.

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And she hasn't got a disabled person with her.

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It is quite widespread...

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if you consider there's something like 45,000 disabled badges

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just being issued by Birmingham Social Services.

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That's just Birmingham, not counting the surrounding areas.

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There is a significant proportion of those which are being misused,

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to evade parking charges for people going to work.

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So, the cheats are saving money on parking, that the rest of us have to pay for.

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And there's fewer spaces for genuine disabled drivers.

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As the morning rush-hour kicks in, the disability fakers are coming, thick and fast.

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This Rover's parked up on the street displaying a blue badge.

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The driver is simply walking away.

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I would say he's late 20s, early 30s.

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He's just crossing over. It's obviously a misuse, it's issued to a female.

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And as the team sit up and observe, the fakers keep coming.

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Male again, with beard. Purple shirt.

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Black trousers. Again, early 30s.

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The badge belongs to a female.

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Gary and Rachel have a list of all the vehicles they've seen parked here regularly.

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Moments later, there's another.

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She's putting the badge on now.

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Oh, that's right. Yeah.

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Female in a purple top.

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Grey trousers, carrying a handbag.

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The white Mini's been seen here several times

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but it's not been driven by the 65-year-old the blue badge in its window was issued to.

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And by the end of the rush hour, this one stretch of road in central Birmingham,

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is half full with fakers, parking for free, with disabled badges.

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But all the cheats are in for a big surprise.

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Birmingham Council has got a special weapon in the fight against fraudsters.

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It's the quickest tow-away truck in the west.

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This side loader was brought in specially from the States.

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There's no quicker vehicle for towing a motor away.

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A few streets away, this car shows the lengths some fakers will go to.

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In fact, the badge holder passed away some time ago, so it's in fact,

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been used by someone, probably I would suspect in the family,

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after the person's passed away.

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To get that vehicle back, those people will now have to pay

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the penalty charge notice which is £25 at the reduced rate...

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and £105 recovery. That's a total of £130 to get their vehicle back.

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So much for saving money on parking.

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Everyone who's been found using a blue badge fraudulently here will be taken to court by the council.

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They could be fined up to £1,000.

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This is a crime that's on the rise across Britain,

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so other councils are introducing fraud units like this one, to beat the blue badge cheats.

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Coming up - the woman whose new husband turned out to be a fake.

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It seemed quite clear that I knew nothing

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about this man I'd just married.

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And to cap it all, fears over the fake dentist.

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It's a serious threat, not only to the patient under treatment

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but all the other staff in the general practice and even the dentists, themselves.

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But first, remember the man who was turning up to take those driving theory tests?

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He's not the real candidate.

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He's part of a gang who'll pass your driving test for you...

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if you pay them enough.

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But West Midlands Police and the Driving Standards Agency

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think they've tracked the man in the CCTV footage down - and this is the place where he works.

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If they're right about him, he's put a lot of unqualified drivers on our roads.

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Police have gone in with one of my colleagues.

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We're going to speak to the main manager and arrange for our target

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to come out, and arrest him, probably in the reception area.

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Officers inside have immediately found their suspect.

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Police believe this might be another coat that's been spotted on CCTV.

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We've got a very good impersonator in custody.

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A good day because if, at the end of it, when we've interviewed him,

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we know more about the organisation and can build the investigation, I'll be very happy.

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Fake driving test applicants are a major worry for driving examiners.

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If we're getting impersonators doing theory tests,

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that's quite serious in road safety terms.

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It means we could potentially have people getting a driving licence

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who haven't got that skill and knowledge to drive safely.

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The Driving Standards Agency fraud team have more than 1,000 ongoing investigations.

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Anyone found guilty of paying this man to take a test for them will have their licence revoked.

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The DSA suspect that could be as many as 100 people who are driving without passing their test.

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In 2007, the worst floods for a generation hit Hull.

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The Yardley family were left with £40,000 worth of damage to their home.

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-It was just devastation, wasn't it?

-Devastation.

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We'd refurbished all our house only a couple of years before.

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I thought our house was just as we wanted it.

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Then during the 25th, the floods, everything was just destroyed.

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They didn't realise they were about to be become victims twice over.

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The water had claimed their home and a conman was about to put their lives in danger.

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The Yardleys found a local builder -

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Andrew McClatchey, who said he could fix their home

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and repair the all-important gas works, safely.

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His paperwork said he was properly Corgi-registered.

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We did ask him,

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there's the gas work to do, this, that and the other,

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and he said "Yeah, I can do it all".

0:21:480:21:50

McClatchey got the job of fixing up the house

0:21:500:21:53

and the Yardleys started looking forward to getting their lives back.

0:21:530:21:57

McClatchey did the building work quite well,

0:21:570:21:59

but he also worked on the gas boiler and the fire.

0:21:590:22:02

No problem, they thought.

0:22:020:22:04

While our builder was working on the house, my sister-in-law's boiler had packed in.

0:22:040:22:11

It was right near Christmas...

0:22:110:22:13

you know, "I need to get a gas-fitter to do my boiler".

0:22:130:22:15

I said, "The one working on our house, he's Corgi-registered...

0:22:150:22:19

"he can come and do it." So he did it as like a guvvy to her, helped her out, she was really pleased.

0:22:190:22:24

A few months later, one morning, all the ceiling had gone in, all the ceiling had collapsed.

0:22:240:22:29

The insurance said it's nothing to do with your water or anything,

0:22:290:22:33

it's your boiler. Who has fitted this boiler?

0:22:330:22:36

There were pages and pages of faults and they said, he's not Corgi-registered.

0:22:360:22:40

They couldn't find him on the site. And then they said, well, do you know anyone else

0:22:400:22:45

who he's done gas work for? They need the gas work checking.

0:22:450:22:48

Jenny and Dean were stunned to discover they'd employed a fake fitter.

0:22:480:22:52

The Corgi inspectors came to check the work he'd done for them.

0:22:520:22:57

-They came and shut us off straight away.

-Soon as he saw the pipe-work on the fire...

0:22:570:23:02

straight to the meter, check it... it was leaking.

0:23:020:23:06

And that was it. He just capped us off and went on his way.

0:23:060:23:09

-So you had no gas.

-We had no gas, no hot water, nothing.

0:23:090:23:12

Having found a leak, the inspector could see the Yardleys were sitting on a gas time bomb.

0:23:120:23:19

This image illustrates what can happen to a family home

0:23:190:23:23

when a gas leak goes unchecked.

0:23:230:23:26

Carbon monoxide poisoning is also a real danger,

0:23:260:23:30

but the Yardleys thought their builder knew how to handle gas.

0:23:300:23:34

Obviously, the paperwork wasn't correct. It was all forged.

0:23:340:23:40

A new engineer had to be brought in to fix the gas leak and make their home safe.

0:23:420:23:47

And looking back, you think, well, why didn't we, you know, ask to see a card.

0:23:470:23:52

You see it on the paper so you believe it, don't you, you know.

0:23:520:23:56

-But we should have asked.

-And probably like all good fakes,

0:23:560:23:59

they're good at being fake, aren't they?

0:23:590:24:01

It turned out that McClatchey had been warned by Corgi before

0:24:010:24:05

for claiming to be a registered fitter.

0:24:050:24:08

This time, he was taken to court and fined £550.

0:24:080:24:13

The Yardleys think he got off lightly.

0:24:130:24:16

Basically, just give him your set of keys and let himself in on a night and murder you both in bed.

0:24:160:24:22

Because that is basically what could have happened.

0:24:220:24:25

You know, if the gas leak had carried on.

0:24:250:24:28

Gas and cowboys do not mix.

0:24:320:24:35

And here's an expert who knows a thing or two about both of them.

0:24:350:24:38

Phil, thanks for coming along. How big a problem is it?

0:24:380:24:42

It's quite a big problem. We did some research recently,

0:24:420:24:45

that identified that there are over 7,500 illegal gas fitters operating within Great Britain.

0:24:450:24:51

We estimate that that could be up to a quarter of a million gas jobs

0:24:510:24:54

that they do in yours and mine homes, every year.

0:24:540:24:57

There is confusion out there because one minute you had Corgi, now you've got Gas Safe.

0:24:570:25:02

-What's happened?

-Well, since 1st April 2009,

0:25:020:25:06

Gas Safe Register is the only legal body that you can do gas work, as a business, within Great Britain.

0:25:060:25:10

So if anybody comes along with an old Corgi card, don't touch it.

0:25:100:25:15

The only way, Dom, is to check their individual ID card.

0:25:150:25:18

For example, this one I've got,

0:25:180:25:20

that shows you my picture, it shows you I work for Gas Safe Register.

0:25:200:25:24

It's got a unique licence number which you can check via our website,

0:25:240:25:29

to check that I am registered, and more importantly,

0:25:290:25:32

as well as the details on the front, you must turn it over and see what it says on the back.

0:25:320:25:36

For example, if you want someone to quote for your gas boiler,

0:25:360:25:39

and it's not listed "gas boilers", then that person can't do that type of work.

0:25:390:25:43

Thing is, Phil, this whole programme has been about fakes and forgeries.

0:25:430:25:47

-Someone could get one of these. How can they double-check?

-What they need to do,

0:25:470:25:51

they can ring us up on a free phone number or get on our website -

0:25:510:25:55

gassaferegister.co.uk

0:25:550:25:56

It's three easy steps, click of a mouse, to check that the business or engineer

0:25:560:26:01

that's walked through your door is the person they say they are.

0:26:010:26:04

If somebody comes along with a card, that's it, phone up,

0:26:040:26:07

say this is the person, this is the reference number...

0:26:070:26:10

or go online, and everything on there is up-to-date.

0:26:100:26:12

It's up-to-date. If you think you've had any unsafe work, or illegal gas work,

0:26:120:26:17

please contact us, and our team will be out there to investigate, to get the evidence, to catch these cowboys.

0:26:170:26:23

Coming up - they'll tell you lies to get into your home.

0:26:270:26:31

They're the doorstep fakers.

0:26:310:26:34

And this man said he was a doctor and a soldier...

0:26:340:26:38

but, he's a fake.

0:26:380:26:40

It takes at least five years to qualify as a doctor, or a dentist.

0:26:400:26:46

But some people, they can't be bothered with all that hard work

0:26:460:26:49

and they are practising on people like you and me.

0:26:490:26:52

Meet the fake dentist.

0:26:520:26:54

We have a lot of trust in our dentists.

0:26:540:26:58

We turn to them in an emergency, and rely on them to anesthetise us and keep us free from pain.

0:26:580:27:03

But imagine finding out yours is a fake.

0:27:030:27:06

This is Geoff Grierson, from South London.

0:27:060:27:08

He spent almost £1,000 having crowns on two damaged teeth.

0:27:080:27:14

But for Geoff, the dental work wasn't the big sting.

0:27:140:27:17

That came, when he got a visit from a fraud investigator from the NHS.

0:27:170:27:23

He came round one evening,

0:27:230:27:24

asked me all about different work I'd had, with this so-called dentist,

0:27:240:27:29

and turned out several other people in the area had, as well...

0:27:290:27:35

Probably an HIV test was required.

0:27:350:27:38

Geoff was stunned.

0:27:380:27:40

It seemed the dentist who had worked on him, wasn't a dentist at all.

0:27:400:27:44

He'd conned all his patients.

0:27:440:27:47

His name was Omid Amidi-Mazaheri.

0:27:470:27:50

Mazaheri was treating hundreds of patients.

0:27:500:27:53

They all believed he was a qualified dentist, but he had no proper training at all.

0:27:530:27:59

His scam was uncovered by the NHS counter-fraud team.

0:28:010:28:04

The unit was set up more than ten years ago.

0:28:040:28:08

Frighteningly, one of their tasks is to track down fraudsters

0:28:080:28:12

who are posing as qualified medical professionals.

0:28:120:28:15

It was an anonymous telephone call to our free phone

0:28:150:28:18

fraud and corruption reporting line.

0:28:180:28:20

Somebody alerted us to the activities of both Mazaheri and Ms Azari,

0:28:200:28:25

who was a dentist working with him.

0:28:250:28:27

There were reports of horror stories in the dentist's chair.

0:28:270:28:31

Sometimes, no anaesthetic was used.

0:28:310:28:33

Sometimes, the work done collapsed almost immediately.

0:28:330:28:36

A syringe was even dropped down someone's throat.

0:28:360:28:40

An investigation by the counter-fraud team

0:28:420:28:45

revealed that Mazaheri had spent more than a year working on patients.

0:28:450:28:50

He was making a fortune despite having no qualifications or training.

0:28:500:28:54

The fraud had gone undetected because Mazaheri's girlfriend,

0:28:540:28:58

Mogjan, was a qualified dentist working at the same practice.

0:28:580:29:02

She had put through the paperwork as if she had treated the patients.

0:29:020:29:06

Geoff Grierson, like the other patients, had been fooled by the fake dentist's veneer.

0:29:060:29:12

I was quite surprised, to be honest. I wasn't sat in the chair two seconds

0:29:120:29:16

till someone started dropping things or had problems with syringes.

0:29:160:29:21

I'm a bit of a coward at the dentist anyway so I'd have been out that seat like a shot.

0:29:210:29:26

Following the investigation, Mazaheri was jailed for two years.

0:29:260:29:31

Mogjan Azari, his girlfriend, was sentenced to a year.

0:29:310:29:34

It was discovered that Mazaheri's only knowledge came from working as a dental technician,

0:29:340:29:40

and the list of things an untrained person doesn't know is frightening.

0:29:400:29:45

They may have no knowledge of cross-infection control measures

0:29:450:29:50

which are so important in this...

0:29:500:29:53

period of hepatitis and HIV risk, that most individuals are aware of.

0:29:530:30:01

Investigators were unsure if he had used proper sterilisation techniques.

0:30:010:30:06

That meant Geoff and all the other patients had to be tested for the HIV virus.

0:30:060:30:11

Thankfully, all the tests came back negative.

0:30:110:30:14

But Geoff's certainly not impressed with what the fake dentist did for him.

0:30:140:30:19

I was eating something and all of a sudden one of these gold caps that he put in, came out, you know.

0:30:190:30:24

Quite embarrassing really, at the time. Annoying, as well.

0:30:240:30:28

But it's simple to check that your dentist is properly qualified.

0:30:280:30:32

Well, my advice to any patient that had any concerns at all about the qualifications of their dentist,

0:30:320:30:39

they should contact the General Dental Council directly

0:30:390:30:43

or perhaps more easily, to visit the General Dental Council website

0:30:430:30:49

and to search the dental register

0:30:490:30:52

for the information relating to their dentist.

0:30:520:30:56

This is Georgina Miles and Craig Colclough on their wedding day.

0:31:020:31:06

Craig had swept Georgina off her feet with tales of his Army doctor days

0:31:060:31:11

and his new life as a successful psychiatrist.

0:31:110:31:14

I thought I'd finally found someone

0:31:140:31:16

who I could go off on crazy adventures with.

0:31:160:31:20

And I was just very excited and very happy.

0:31:200:31:22

Georgina was also an aspiring officer in the Territorial Army

0:31:220:31:27

and had introduced Craig to friends and officers in the regiment.

0:31:270:31:31

He'd won them over, too... so much so, that they offered him

0:31:310:31:35

the role of Chief Medical Officer in Georgina's regiment...

0:31:350:31:38

the 36th Territorial Army Signals.

0:31:380:31:42

He was responsible for about 200 soldiers across the entire regiment.

0:31:420:31:46

The couple sped off for an idyllic honeymoon in the Maldives.

0:31:460:31:49

But, back at home, Georgina's sister had her doubts.

0:31:490:31:53

None of Craig's family or his friends came to the ceremony

0:31:530:31:57

and she decided to do an internet search on the supposed ex-Army major.

0:31:570:32:02

She called me the day after I returned and she said perhaps I want to go and look for myself.

0:32:020:32:07

There were lots of pages about the time he'd spent in Prague, on an ex-pat site...

0:32:070:32:14

where he'd been involved in banking.

0:32:140:32:16

And it was all very strange and certainly nothing to do with being a doctor

0:32:160:32:20

and certainly nothing to do with an officer in the British Army.

0:32:200:32:24

I looked on the General Medical Council website

0:32:240:32:27

where you can enter a name and see if they've been registered as a doctor.

0:32:270:32:31

And I tried his name and he had never been registered.

0:32:310:32:34

A few other things started to fall into place.

0:32:350:32:37

Emails from people saying they knew Craig

0:32:370:32:39

and that I ought to be very careful because he was nothing that he said he was.

0:32:390:32:44

So, that evening, when he got home from work,

0:32:440:32:47

he was waiting outside in the park

0:32:470:32:49

cos I think he knew something was up. I'd been a bit funny on the phone,

0:32:490:32:52

saying we needed to talk about a few things

0:32:520:32:55

that I'd read on the internet...

0:32:550:32:56

and he wouldn't come up. So I went down to see him

0:32:560:32:59

and he was sitting there with his head hung low and I said,

0:32:590:33:03

"My name's Georgina Miles, who are you?"

0:33:030:33:07

because it seemed quite clear that I knew nothing about this man

0:33:070:33:10

who, just two weeks ago, I'd married.

0:33:100:33:12

We'll find out the shocking truth about Georgina's new husband later in the programme.

0:33:120:33:19

Through to the police, can I help?

0:33:220:33:24

My neighbour's just been robbed...

0:33:240:33:26

What you're hearing is a real 999 call received by Thames Valley Police.

0:33:260:33:32

These are elderly neighbours. They threatened her with a screwdriver.

0:33:320:33:35

They're calling about the country's most unpleasant fakers...

0:33:350:33:39

The ones who tell lies on your doorstep to con their way into your home.

0:33:390:33:44

This type of crime is when someone comes to your door

0:33:440:33:48

claiming something like, "We're from the water board" or, "The electricity company".

0:33:480:33:52

In truth, they're conmen, trying to get in and rob you.

0:33:520:33:56

And there are around 11,000 cons like this in Britain, every year.

0:33:560:34:01

Paul Pearson's mum and dad were the victims you heard about on the 999 call.

0:34:010:34:05

The burglars conned them with a fake story about a lost dog.

0:34:050:34:09

Then they pounced.

0:34:090:34:11

Basically, she was confronted by them

0:34:110:34:14

and was frogmarched back into the house,

0:34:140:34:18

being threatened by one of the individuals

0:34:180:34:21

with a sharpened screwdriver, who then shouted at her.

0:34:210:34:26

My father was quite ill at the time and he was sat in a chair,

0:34:260:34:30

and when he got up to confront the individual,

0:34:300:34:36

he was knocked back into the chair.

0:34:360:34:39

My mother had been down to collect the pension money earlier that day,

0:34:390:34:43

and that's basically all they got away with.

0:34:430:34:47

There was nothing of real value within the house itself.

0:34:470:34:51

They'd ransacked everywhere through the house,

0:34:510:34:56

to find what was perhaps £150, £200. Not much more than that.

0:34:560:35:00

Paul's parents weren't the only victims.

0:35:020:35:04

The conmen went on a spree across the South and the Midlands, using different deceptions and lies

0:35:040:35:10

to get through people's front doors, and then rob them.

0:35:100:35:14

In the summer of 2007, we identified, along with a number of other forces,

0:35:140:35:20

a spike in more violent offences,

0:35:200:35:23

where there was still an element of what we would call a distraction, a lie, to get beyond the front door.

0:35:230:35:29

Often, it was once they were in the house - then force was used to find money and to control the victim.

0:35:310:35:39

Police in Thames Valley issued warnings to residents and set about trying to find the crooks.

0:35:390:35:45

But then, a vital lead came from police in Warwickshire

0:35:450:35:48

when they spotted two men behaving suspiciously in this Jaguar.

0:35:480:35:53

In the July, we had a break because a car that had been stolen in Thames Valley,

0:35:530:35:58

a very distinctive car, a Jaguar convertible sports car, was seen in Warwickshire.

0:35:580:36:05

And the officers there pursued the vehicle, and two were arrested fleeing from that vehicle.

0:36:050:36:11

These are the two men arrested in the stolen motor.

0:36:110:36:15

And when police in Warwickshire searched the car,

0:36:150:36:17

they found some things that made Joe Kidman immediately suspicious.

0:36:170:36:22

We found some gloves inside the car and they were quite distinctive, patterned work-type gloves...

0:36:220:36:28

and also some tools in the car...

0:36:280:36:31

and a screwdriver which was similar to one described by one of our victims.

0:36:310:36:36

Joe organised a video identification parade with the arrested men.

0:36:360:36:40

The victims picked them out straight away

0:36:400:36:42

as the conmen who had lied to get into their homes, and then rob them.

0:36:420:36:47

The two were found guilty of a string of violent burglaries, but Joe wasn't finished with them yet.

0:36:470:36:53

The initial sentences given to O'Connor and Rooney were five years and three years, respectively.

0:36:530:37:00

We were of the opinion that that didn't reflect the seriousness of the offending.

0:37:000:37:04

We went back to the Court of Appeal and their sentences were doubled

0:37:040:37:08

to ten years and five years, respectively.

0:37:080:37:10

Words that would describe them

0:37:100:37:13

couldn't be voiced on a programme like this...

0:37:130:37:19

All you'd get would be the bleeps, basically.

0:37:190:37:22

As frightening as these kind of burglaries are, the fact is,

0:37:220:37:26

Thames Valley and most other regions have seen a decrease. But it pays to be vigilant.

0:37:260:37:31

And I know a man who can tell you what to look out for.

0:37:310:37:34

Here's a guy who's chasing these fake people every day of the week.

0:37:340:37:38

Dominic, thanks for coming.

0:37:380:37:40

-Pleased to meet you.

-Distraction burglary, how big a problem is it?

0:37:400:37:43

-You won't believe the excuses people use to trick their way into houses.

-Give me some examples.

0:37:430:37:48

They use the excuse that they're the police and have caught someone

0:37:480:37:52

down the road and ask you to check where your valuables and cash are.

0:37:520:37:55

So you're actually identifying to these criminals where your valuables and cash is.

0:37:550:38:00

Do these people have a particular way of trying to distract you, or is there loads of different ways?

0:38:000:38:05

Lots of different ways, but a common theme is someone will keep you in conversation at the front door,

0:38:050:38:10

or just inside the front door, while someone else comes in and enters the back of the property.

0:38:100:38:16

That's why it's important to keep the back of the property secure,

0:38:160:38:19

so if you answer the front door, you know someone can't get in the back easily.

0:38:190:38:23

Picture this, an old lady who's sitting, watching this programme,

0:38:230:38:27

thinking "My God, what am I going to do?"

0:38:270:38:29

What would be your advice to her?

0:38:290:38:31

Make sure you've got good locks on the front door, and a chain.

0:38:310:38:34

If someone knocks at the door,

0:38:340:38:37

by all means, answer it, but keep your chain on.

0:38:370:38:39

If you're not happy with them, don't let them in. Call 999.

0:38:390:38:42

-Simple as that.

-Simple as that.

0:38:420:38:45

Earlier, we met Georgina Miles.

0:38:490:38:52

She thought she'd married a doctor and an ex-Army major.

0:38:520:38:55

But after their wedding, she found out he wasn't a major or a doctor.

0:38:550:39:00

He was a fake. His real job was in finance.

0:39:000:39:03

He'd lied about almost everything, to make himself more exciting.

0:39:030:39:08

A lot of family and friends who came to the wedding,

0:39:080:39:11

who spent a lot of money coming to the wedding...

0:39:110:39:14

to see me on my happy day...

0:39:140:39:17

were of course, incredibly angry on my behalf.

0:39:170:39:20

Georgina left the couple's flat as soon as she discovered she'd been duped.

0:39:200:39:24

She hasn't felt able to look through any of the wedding photos until now.

0:39:240:39:29

I just didn't want to look at them. I was so embarrassed and so ashamed.

0:39:290:39:33

And so angry at what he'd done to me...

0:39:350:39:38

and to my family and my friends.

0:39:380:39:41

It just got me too upset to look at them.

0:39:410:39:45

The worst bit was telling my father.

0:39:450:39:48

He was...um...

0:39:510:39:52

He had tears in his eyes when he gave me away.

0:39:540:39:57

And then...

0:39:570:39:58

..he was very angry, but obviously he couldn't show that.

0:40:000:40:05

But that was very hard.

0:40:050:40:06

But it wasn't just an emotional tragedy.

0:40:060:40:09

Georgina had introduced Colclough to her colleagues at the TA's Signal Regiment.

0:40:090:40:14

They'd been so taken in by his charm, they had offered him the post of Chief Medical Officer.

0:40:140:40:20

There was a delay in checking his qualifications, so he had been treating soldiers for months.

0:40:200:40:26

You know, it's an organisation that I loved...

0:40:260:40:28

and I was immensely proud to be part of.

0:40:280:40:31

And I'd introduced him to the regiment...

0:40:310:40:34

and I was...

0:40:340:40:35

terribly ashamed.

0:40:350:40:37

And I thought of all the things he'd done to the soldiers,

0:40:410:40:45

who were very good people.

0:40:450:40:48

Further investigation revealed that Colclough had spent a few months

0:40:480:40:52

in the Royal Marine Reserves when he was younger.

0:40:520:40:54

He'd served as a medical technician there, but he certainly wasn't a doctor.

0:40:540:40:59

There was a young lad, a young soldier, who had hurt his hand,

0:40:590:41:03

and he'd gone to Craig, as the regimental medical officer...

0:41:030:41:07

and Craig had thought it was dislocated

0:41:080:41:12

and tried to put it back into position...

0:41:120:41:15

whereas in fact, the bone was broken.

0:41:150:41:17

And they said in court, you know, just how much pain this lad

0:41:170:41:20

would have had to suffer,

0:41:200:41:22

from someone trying to manipulate a broken hand.

0:41:220:41:25

For the man who told a tissue of lies, this was the end.

0:41:250:41:30

He was jailed for 16 weeks for impersonating a doctor and assaulting an Army patient.

0:41:300:41:36

But, there's a very simple explanation as to how he conned Georgina and the Army.

0:41:360:41:41

Craig had a knack where he was very charming, very funny.

0:41:410:41:44

He instantly disarmed people...made them feel very good about themselves.

0:41:440:41:48

And I think people's first thought was never to question what he said.

0:41:480:41:53

He did his research, he did his homework...

0:41:540:41:57

on people and on subject matter.

0:41:570:42:00

And he was always very self-deprecating.

0:42:010:42:04

I think it's true what they say. If you're going to lie, lie big.

0:42:060:42:10

I think no-one would expect someone to be so audacious...

0:42:100:42:13

and reckless as to walk into a TA unit, pretending to be a doctor

0:42:130:42:17

and a commissioned officer in the Army.

0:42:170:42:19

For a start, why would anyone want to?

0:42:190:42:21

How would anyone think they could get away with it?

0:42:210:42:24

For some reason it was important to Craig,

0:42:250:42:27

for people to view him as this person...

0:42:270:42:29

above and beyond me.

0:42:310:42:33

I think going to prison might show him that society doesn't accept

0:42:330:42:37

that kind of behaviour, that there are consequences to your actions.

0:42:370:42:41

Other than that, I don't know,

0:42:410:42:44

I don't really know if it will change him.

0:42:440:42:48

But whether you're trying to pass yourself off as a doctor, a dentist,

0:42:500:42:55

a holidaymaker or a gas fitter, for all the fakers in this programme,

0:42:550:42:59

it seems fraud didn't pay after all.

0:42:590:43:03

I hope I've given you all the information you need to stay one step ahead of those conmen.

0:43:030:43:08

So from Fake Britain, it's goodbye.

0:43:080:43:10

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:180:43:21

E-mail [email protected]

0:43:210:43:24

From his 'Fake House' stuffed with counterfeit goods, presenter Dominic Littlewood reveals the extent of people using fake identities in the UK.

We follow the UK Border agency as they intercept people with fake identities coming into the country, including a woman carrying a fake passport. We go inside the high security National Document Fraud Unit - which has dealt with cases such as the Lockerbie bombing and the shoe bomber Richard Reid, and look at the work of customs and excise as they intercept fake documents used to create fake identities.

We show how a man with no qualifications operated as a fake dentist, and meet the victims of his work. In Birmingham, we meet the council officials who catch people faking disability and using blue badge passes to park for free in the city centre. There's a look at the criminal gangs who are faking driving tests by getting experienced drivers to take the test for learners in return for a payoff, putting hundreds of illegal and inexperienced drivers on our roads, and we show a raid by the Driving Standards Agency investigations team and the police where they arrest a suspected driving test impersonator.


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