Episode 14 Fake Britain


Episode 14

Consumer series. We follow the UK Border Agency teams as they uncover illegal workers using fake documents to work in restaurants and takeaways in Liverpool.


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Transcript


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Welcome to a world where nothing is 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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You're under arrest.

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In this series, I'll be investigating the world of criminals who make money at your expense.

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I'll show you how not to get ripped off.

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-Today on Fake Britain:

-Hello.

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We're with the UK Border Agency on the trail of the fake workers.

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Is this you? Can I see your passport?

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We go undercover to discover the true value of this woman's fake insurance claim.

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It's hundreds of thousands of pounds.

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And how a fake inheritance cost one pensioner his home.

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I admit I was stupid. I made a mistake.

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Instead of binning the letter, I kept it.

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Liverpool has always had a strong immigrant community,

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but there are strict rules on whether they are allowed to work, designed to protect local employees.

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Hello. Immigration. Are you OK?

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It's up to the UK Border Agency to enforce these rules.

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Today they're clamping down on workers who use fake documents to get jobs.

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They're checking up on four takeaways in one evening.

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They're just the sort of places to attract foreign short-term workers.

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The team are backed up by the latest technology -

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portable fingerprint devices - to find out who they're talking to.

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When you claim asylum, we fingerprint you.

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And translation services are on hand to work out what they are saying.

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This man is an asylum seeker without permission to work in the UK.

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What are you doing in the kitchen?

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I am watching TV. Arabic.

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-The team aren't happy with his excuses.

-So if we check the cameras in here, yes,

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it will show that you're not working?

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Despite his protests, the team have enough suspicions to remove him.

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He's not allowed to be behind the counter or in the back.

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There's a maximum £10,000 fine for bosses who employ an illegal worker.

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The team can move on to their next target. They've done the kebab shop. Now it's time for the curry house.

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-Just take a seat there for me. Thanks, everyone.

-Getting in quickly means less chance of anyone bolting.

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-Who's in charge?

-I'm in charge.

-Will you stand up for me? Thanks. Will you empty your pockets?

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What nationality are you, sir?

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Is your passport in your room? OK. Joe? Got a passport upstairs.

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-When did you first come to the UK?

-'91.

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One employee is saying that he came into the country to study,

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-but it's a story they have to check out.

-Any teacher. Your favourite.

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Or the teacher you hated most.

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Another seems to think playing dumb is the right way to go, but Kate is on to him.

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I don't like the fact that you don't speak any English and you entered the UK on a student visa.

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How are you expected to go to study in the United Kingdom when this language is English?

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Do you understand?

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Part of the work involves checking everyone's ID.

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What's he wearing on it? It's quite distinctive.

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Yeah, perfect. That's our man.

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This man is legitimate, but for others the most basic questions can prove difficult.

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What's your wife's surname?

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-And if that's too tricky...

-What's her first name?

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My girlfriend?

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-My wife?

-Yes, your wife.

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-I have a gentleman here with me. His English is not very good.

-Kate calls on the translation service.

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Could you confirm this gentleman's name, date of birth and nationality?

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-While this officer just keeps on trying.

-What's your wife's name?

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I've asked you three times now.

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Are you lying to me?

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You ARE lying to me? OK.

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It looks like this fake worker has finally come clean.

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-So where is your passport?

-I don't have passport.

-You don't? OK.

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-How did you get into the country?

-I came from France.

-In a lorry?

-Yeah, lorry.

-Back of a lorry.

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But it's still going to be hard to deport him if they don't know who he is.

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-Go with that gentleman there.

-He lives above the restaurant. A search will help get to grips with him.

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Listen, if you want us to help you, you'll have to start talking to us and telling the truth.

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-But he'll prove to be one of the team's trickiest cases yet.

-You're just talking rubbish.

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Britain has one of the highest underage drinking rates in the world. A fake ID is often used

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to prove people are old enough to buy alcohol. Technology is helping criminals make a lot from these.

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They're very good and increasingly hard to spot. That makes it very difficult for the people out there

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trying to get them off the streets.

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Newquay is one of Britain's favourite resorts, but recently the beaches have been disturbed

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by something altogether less peaceful.

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Newquay, 2010!

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Newquay's got itself a reputation as being THE place where teenagers come to celebrate after their exams.

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They shouldn't be allowed out in dresses.

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And many of the underage revellers try their luck with fake IDs.

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But recently two teens died after falling down cliffs.

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The town is keen to get to grips with underage drinking and fighting fake IDs is part of the battle.

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PC Chris Pashley is on the frontline.

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The underage drinkers will try to get into licensed premises,

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using whatever means they can.

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It's easier for the girls to appear older than the boys.

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They dress up and can appear very much over 18.

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Yes!

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Police have the power to confiscate alcohol from drinkers they think might be underage.

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And they've got quite a collection.

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It gives you some idea of the type of alcohol that is

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seized from juveniles, 16-year-olds.

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From beer, cider, right through to strong spirits.

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This lot was taken over just a four-week period and gives an idea of the size of the problem.

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Anything that is already opened is simply tipped away.

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This is all just unopened, so you can probably treble that without even batting an eyelid.

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At the end of the summer season, this will be auctioned off...

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..for the Help For Heroes charity.

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And behind the seized alcohol there's another issue. Again, seized over four weeks, the fake ID.

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Newquay has a policy to only accept driver's licences or passports,

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but that hasn't stopped underage drinkers trying to get alcohol.

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They come from websites which identify them as a novelty item,

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rather than a true ID, but they're just valueless, really.

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Catching young drinkers with fake ID is a continual game of cat and mouse.

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Newquay has a scheme to make sure if there's any doubt the drinker gets carded.

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On these particular premises, they've got 21 Challenge on their jackets, which they all wear,

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so they're identifiable. That's part of the whole principle of challenging for ID. Excuse me.

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Come here, chap. Thank you.

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The police can even get parents to come and collect underage drinkers.

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-It's part of a project called Operation Exodus.

-Have you had any ID issues, picked up anything?

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Yeah, we had one last night. It's not a particularly good one.

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No real hologram on it. It's sort of flimsy.

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OK, lovely. I'll put that with the others

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Talking to some of the revellers, it's clear they've used fake IDs, and successfully.

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-Fake IDs for winners.

-We got them off the internet. It's a UK citizen card or something.

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While others continue to slip through the clampdown.

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Around the corner, another drinker has been caught using someone else's ID.

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You cannot provide ID that is false. They're legitimate in taking that.

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-OK?

-If the girl...

-We will return it to the person whose ID it is.

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-If she wants to come to the police station, she can. Goodbye.

-One second...

-No, go away.

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-You're not saying anything that's helping. Go away.

-James!

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Take him away. Bye-bye.

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This ID was given by the blonde lady there.

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She isn't the person that it is. She's borrowed it from a friend's sister.

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They want the ID back. Well, they've used it in an illegal way.

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It's been seized by the nightclub and their policy is to give all IDs to the police.

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We dispose of them as we see fit.

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If this girl does come to the police station providing ID, we might return it to her,

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but we will give her some words of advice as to why it shouldn't be used by any other person.

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-While the police in Newquay continue to deal with the after effects of fake IDs...

-What are you doing?!

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Put it away. OK? You've got pubs everywhere, toilets everywhere. The last thing I want to see is that.

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..other authorities have been trying to deal with the problem at source.

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Later: we see how Trading Standards have made some shocking discoveries when clamping down on ID fakers.

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We also discovered large amounts of adults buying cards, even a coach driver who was banned from driving.

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Imagine a letter like this landing on your doormat.

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You open it up and it says - wow! - you are due a large inheritance.

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Too good to be true? Probably, but still, one phone call won't do any harm, will it?

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Be careful. It's the fake inheritance scam.

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Walter McKinlay is a former entrepreneur living in Suffolk.

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Although he lost his wife six years ago, he was still looking forward to a well-earned retirement.

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That was until a letter landed on his doorstep.

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It was from a Mr Lunn and stated that someone with the same surname as Walter had recently died

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in a car crash in Malaysia. Because there were no next of kin,

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it said Walter could be entitled to a share of the inheritance.

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I was intrigued, curious. Normally, I would have binned it,

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but I was very curious about it. There was a phone number there, so I phoned up.

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But what started as a simple phone call was to change the rest of Walter's life.

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Mr Lunn told Walter there were £15 million in the will

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and that just under £6 million could be his.

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Put there was a hitch. A payment was required to release the money.

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To me, 7,000 wasn't a lot of money and I was intrigued. I wanted to know more.

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Unfortunately for Walter, once he'd made this first payment,

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Mr Lunn was back on his email asking for more.

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A letter from the Inland Revenue in Malaysia said the dead man owed them around £200,000

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in unpaid tax. The inheritance couldn't be released before the bill was paid.

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Walter handed over a share of what was owed.

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The documents that I was receiving from the lawyer appeared so official to me, the headings,

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it was right, it was genuine.

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As far as retired entrepreneur Walter was concerned, he'd entered a business arrangement,

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so he didn't bat an eyelid when another demand arrived.

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This time the family of the dead man's girlfriend, who also died in the crash,

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was looking for compensation and it needed to be sorted fast.

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It was moving very quickly because of the pressure they were putting on me to get things done.

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Not just the emails, but the phone calls.

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-I was up at three o'clock in the morning.

-The demands kept coming,

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but each time a payment was made, a new request for money arrived.

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Because the pace was moving so fast, I was having to respond so quickly,

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I began to get in deeper and deeper.

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With every bank transfer, Walter believed he was one step away from a £6 million payout.

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It was moving too quickly. I had lost control. I lost control of myself.

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I know that I was quite ill. I was so stressed out. I was totally out of character.

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I was argumentative, I wasn't tolerant with anybody.

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And that was just not me. Not me.

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Then, in early 2010,

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Walter finally received the news he was waiting for.

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30 million transferred into their business account.

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At last, his share could be released.

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I went into my local bank to see if it had been transferred.

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It wasn't, it wasn't.

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So then I sent two messages to the Alliance Bank in Malaysia

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asking where the funds were in the account. And...

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they responded to me stating that there was no account by that number.

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Then when I got that message,

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I was literally mortified.

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What have I got? I'm shaking like I am now.

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Walter made one last call to the scammer. He was met with a simple response.

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"It's time business was closed up."

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That was his version. That was his words.

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Since then, there's been nothing.

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In total, Walter had lost over £400,000 in the fake inheritance scam.

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I went to my local police station

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and asked them if they could trace two people.

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And a WPC came down and said to me,

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"Don't send any more money and contact the Malaysian Embassy."

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I telephoned up the Embassy and they didn't want to know.

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So I was in a right fix.

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Walter had kept the whole thing secret from his family. It's a decision he now regrets.

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I've let my family down, my best friend...

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and my late wife.

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Walter's lost everything and now had to put his house up for sale.

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He's clear what he feels towards the people who ripped him off.

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I don't think much about the scammers. I call them scummers now.

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I admit I was stupid. I made a mistake.

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Instead of binning the letter, I kept it.

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I am very, very angry, very bitter.

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Whether that will ever disappear from me, I don't know. I doubt it.

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-Who's behind these inheritance scams?

-Organised criminal gangs.

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They might be sending out inheritance scams one day and lottery scams or prize draw scams the next day.

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-What do you think the answer is?

-Raising awareness. Everybody now should be talking about this,

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should be looking out for not just the elderly, but anyone vulnerable.

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even if you have fallen for it, be confident enough to say, "I think I've fallen for a scam."

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If you don't want to talk to family, go along to Trading Standards. Take it there, show them what you've done.

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Don't be embarrassed about it. These things are sophisticated. It's not stupid people falling for them.

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Anybody, hit at the right time, could fall for them.

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Later: we see how private detectives help to clamp down on a fake insurance claim.

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The subject, off. In the subject vehicle.

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And we find out how some horse lovers are being taken for a ride.

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He looked absolutely beautiful. It was a childhood dream made real. It just all fell apart, really.

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The UK Border Agency in Liverpool are checking for takeaway workers using fake IDs.

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Hello. Immigration. You OK?

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Some have been removed as the agents think they're working illegally.

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If we check the cameras in here, it will show that you're not working behind the counter?

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-Others eventually admit they're fake.

-This is somebody else's identity? Not you?

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Upstairs, the worker shows them his room, but he hasn't finished messing the team around.

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He's never applied for a visa. He came in the back of a lorry.

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Have you got a bank card? With your name on? National Insurance card?

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But they still can't find out who he really is. Without that, it's difficult to deport him.

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You've lived here for two and a half years. You must have something with your name on.

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He doesn't seem to be helping much.

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I think the main thing now is to go through everything and find out who he really is.

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At last they try everyone's favourite hiding place.

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And bingo!

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But it looks like he gave them another wrong name.

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Bank statements with a different name are under his mattress.

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-You've got nothing at all in this bedroom that confirms who you are.

-So you're just talking rubbish.

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-Is this really your bedroom?

-Yeah.

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What size feet are you?

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What size feet are these?

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-Seven.

-Sevens.

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-Seven and a half.

-The team still don't believe him.

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Can you do us a favour, mate, and just ask the manager

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to come upstairs to the residential area, please?

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-Not this one? No?

-He used to room with me.

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-Thanks to the manager, it looks like the game's up.

-Is this his bedroom?

-Yes.

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-He shows the team the fake worker's real bedroom.

-Before we start looking, you've lied to us once.

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Have you got any ID documents over there? We're gonna look.

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OK? So if you've got anything there, you can tell us now.

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By law, employers have to have a photocopy of an immigrant worker's passport on file.

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Where's the real passport, mate?

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I-I have no passport.

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So is this you? That's the fake one, isn't it?

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This man's used his cousin's passport and faked the photo. It's finally time to come clean.

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-Has your cousin got your real passport?

-No.

-Are you sure?

-Yeah.

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The punishment for faking a passport can be up to ten years in prison and he would be deported at the end.

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Have you got a contact number for your cousin?

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If the cousin has helped, it could also mean prison for him.

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I know I lie you.

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You know that you've lied to me. All right.

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-So you've got no questions at the moment?

-No.

-You understand. OK.

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This time he's fingerprinted and the records will be kept.

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The Border Agency will be able to contact his embassy for a travel document

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to send him back to Bangladesh.

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Coming up, the night's still young for the UK Border Agency team.

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We'll see what comes back, but he's said he came in on a freight train.

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Alcohol abuse costs Britain billions of pounds a year

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with one million hospital admissions put down to booze.

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SHOUTING AND JEERING

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-And UK rates of under-age drinking are among the worst in the world.

-Binge drinking is good.

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But young drinkers buying alcohol on fake ID is not just a problem in Newquay

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as Andrew Rees at Chester Trading Standards can testify.

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The investigation began when we got a telephone call from a very concerned parent.

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She was concerned that her 15-year-old daughter had purchased one of these cards

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and was using it to go out with her friends and buy alcohol.

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That was followed by another inquiry from another Trading Standards authority with a similar complaint.

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An under-age person had obtained a card and was using it to buy alcohol.

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It didn't take long to find the site,

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although it claimed to be selling the fake IDs for novelty purposes only.

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We were surprised by what we saw on the internet site

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because in this particular case, it was quite clear that the site included advertisements saying

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that these cards would fool barmaids. "Go out with your older friends." Yeah, that was a surprise for us.

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These testimonials were enough to convince Andrew that the cards were aimed at young drinkers,

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but they still needed more evidence.

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We made our own test purchase.

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We got a 15-year-old to submit his details, purchase a card

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and request a card to show that he was 18, 19. It's incredibly easy

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and with the option to pay by card or cash in a brown envelope posted off to the mailbox address.

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The mailbox address enabled the business owners

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to hide their own address,

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but that wasn't going to deter Andrew and his team.

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They set up a surveillance operation to see just who was going to pick up the cash and orders for the cards.

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It's important that you prepare properly and find an appropriate site to do the surveillance from.

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You want to make sure your cover isn't blown, so you can carry out the surveillance for maximum benefit.

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It was only a matter of hours before the owner turned up and she'd even helpfully dyed her hair,

0:24:300:24:35

just in case they lost her.

0:24:350:24:38

Following her car, they had no idea whether she was really going to take them to her home.

0:24:400:24:45

In the end, she took them to a residential address.

0:24:490:24:52

One arrest warrant later and the Trading Standards and local police were ready to go.

0:24:520:24:58

The whole set-up was there. It was being run from a bedroom in a private house.

0:24:580:25:02

Cards were in the process of being made when we arrived at that house.

0:25:020:25:07

And if you think you can't run much of a scam from an unassuming bungalow, then think again.

0:25:070:25:13

What surprised us was the amount of business they were doing - far bigger than we anticipated.

0:25:130:25:19

Thousands and thousands of these cards had been made.

0:25:190:25:22

It was approaching £250,000 over a relatively short period of time, 18 months to two years.

0:25:220:25:28

This is just a sample of the many hundreds of cards that we seized on the raid.

0:25:300:25:35

From student cards to international driving licences, all the fake IDs seemed to be there.

0:25:350:25:41

The driving permits were popular with the younger people.

0:25:410:25:44

But as the team delved deeper, they came across some even more disturbing sales.

0:25:440:25:50

We initially looked at this case as being one where people were buying fake ID to buy alcohol,

0:25:500:25:55

so for people typically under 18, but we also discovered large amounts of adults buying cards -

0:25:550:26:01

people without full driving licences buying driving licences to enable them to drive.

0:26:010:26:07

We had a taxi driver who had bought one and even one had gone aboard to a coach driver banned from driving.

0:26:070:26:13

Adrian Holmes was sentenced to two and a half years in prison as the driving force behind the business,

0:26:130:26:19

while his partner Lucy Sanders was given an 18-month sentence.

0:26:190:26:24

The day after the result in court, a lot of these sites were withdrawn and disappeared,

0:26:240:26:29

but now you'll see they've sprung up and are being run mainly from abroad.

0:26:290:26:34

Obviously, it's much more difficult, but it's not the end of the road.

0:26:340:26:38

If it is having an impact on consumers in this country,

0:26:380:26:41

working with the police and enforcement authorities in other countries, we can take steps,

0:26:410:26:47

but it increases the complexity of the investigation.

0:26:470:26:51

Just because some fakers are abroad, that doesn't mean they won't be getting a knock on their door.

0:26:510:26:57

Kate, give me an idea. Just how big a problem is fake ID?

0:27:020:27:06

We know that it's very, very common.

0:27:060:27:08

Under-18s will try whatever it takes to get hold of products

0:27:080:27:14

that are meant to be for older kids.

0:27:140:27:16

-It's not just booze or alcohol we're talking about?

-No, absolutely.

0:27:160:27:20

Tobacco is the other big age-related product,

0:27:200:27:24

but there are also the cinema and DVDs with age restrictions.

0:27:240:27:28

The list goes on. There are tattoos, fireworks and other services like that.

0:27:280:27:34

What are the consequences for a young person caught using a fake ID?

0:27:340:27:38

I know that some police forces do prosecute,

0:27:380:27:42

so it's very important that young people realise that it's not just a bit of fun.

0:27:420:27:47

It could go on their record and to turn it the other way round,

0:27:470:27:51

young people need to be aware of the penalties that retailers face.

0:27:510:27:55

They could get a fine of £20,000. They could lose their licence.

0:27:550:27:59

-Even if the young person presented fake ID?

-Yes.

-The retailer could end up with a £20,000 fine?

-Absolutely.

0:27:590:28:06

As we well know, accidents can happen to anybody at any time.

0:28:110:28:16

Last year, we paid out over four billion pounds to insure ourselves against them,

0:28:160:28:21

but some people are paying their premiums and then deceiving the insurance company.

0:28:210:28:27

Welcome to the world of the fake insurance claim.

0:28:270:28:30

Fraud costs the insurance industry billions of pounds every year.

0:28:300:28:35

And how do they recoup this money?

0:28:350:28:38

Well, by adding £44 to the average annual household premium.

0:28:380:28:43

Tara Shelton runs a private detective firm

0:28:450:28:48

that specialises in spotting fake insurance claims.

0:28:480:28:52

People are becoming smarter due to technology these days

0:28:520:28:56

in researching how to get away with a particular act,

0:28:560:28:59

therefore companies like I-COG have to be a lot smarter in how they detect any dishonesty.

0:28:590:29:06

Ultimately, what we are seeking is a search for the truth.

0:29:060:29:10

If that claim is genuine, the money invested has been well invested

0:29:100:29:14

and any genuine claimant should be paid out by the insurance company that they pay a premium to.

0:29:140:29:20

One of Tara's detectives is in the Midlands investigating a claimant

0:29:230:29:27

who said that after an accident her leg muscle was so wasted, she can't walk five steps without stopping.

0:29:270:29:34

She's receiving payments of over £10,000 a year.

0:29:340:29:37

After some research, Tara's detective already has his doubts over the status of her injury.

0:29:370:29:43

He has asked us to protect his identity.

0:29:430:29:46

There are various avenues we can follow to gather information on the subject.

0:29:460:29:51

There's an active gym membership,

0:29:510:29:53

but if you're severely physically restricted, why would you require an active gym membership?

0:29:530:29:59

Stand by, stand by. Two children outside.

0:29:590:30:02

Obs continue.

0:30:020:30:04

Background checks have revealed the claimant usually goes to the gym once her children leave for school.

0:30:040:30:11

But she might just be going there to meet a friend.

0:30:110:30:15

White female, possible teens, away, away, left from the RA. Obs continue.

0:30:150:30:20

No sighting of the subject.

0:30:200:30:22

Having been parked in a residential street, the detective is wary about being recognised.

0:30:220:30:28

I'll change my appearance slightly since I've walked past the HA. It's simple things.

0:30:280:30:33

It's not about wearing a disguise. People's recollection of someone

0:30:330:30:37

can focus on one aspect - a jacket, a bag, a hat.

0:30:370:30:40

So long as you try to control that aspect, you can change their perception of who they've seen.

0:30:400:30:46

He thinks he's been spotted. He's now had to park around the corner

0:30:460:30:50

without a direct sight of the claimant's house.

0:30:500:30:53

If I'm going to plot for movement, I'll plot the main arterial route out.

0:30:530:30:58

But there's a chance he could have missed her. It's a waiting game.

0:30:580:31:02

Subject off, off, driving in the subject vehicle.

0:31:020:31:05

The detective can't afford to lose her, but at the end of the school run, the roads are still busy.

0:31:060:31:13

Near side indication, temporary loss. I'm not too concerned. She's got her gym kit on.

0:31:130:31:18

Unless she cuts about all day in Lycra, I think we're off to the gym. And that's as fast as it can happen.

0:31:180:31:24

So it's off to the local gym and the detective hopes she's going to turn up there.

0:31:240:31:30

Right to the gym, according to my sat nav.

0:31:300:31:33

Once again, it's going to be back to the waiting game to see if she's going to turn up.

0:31:330:31:39

And the rain isn't helping to see who's coming, but before too long...

0:31:400:31:45

Subject vehicle in to leisure centre. Deploy on foot.

0:31:450:31:50

This time, the rain comes to the detective's help. The subject is not hanging around to get wet.

0:31:510:31:58

It's evidence that points to this claim being a fake one.

0:31:580:32:02

Carrying his own gym kit, the detective is still after the killer evidence

0:32:020:32:07

and inside, he spots her again.

0:32:070:32:09

If the rowing wasn't enough,

0:32:090:32:12

she's pushing her legs to the limit.

0:32:120:32:15

If she did have an injury, it's healed by now

0:32:150:32:18

and she should have reported that to the insurance company.

0:32:180:32:21

For the detective, it's been a good day's work.

0:32:210:32:25

He could stay on the case, but he doesn't want to push his luck.

0:32:250:32:29

Obviously, have to be very mindful of the level of exposure. Push a bit harder if opportunity is there.

0:32:290:32:36

More important to step back and not be greedy... to know where that line is.

0:32:360:32:41

After the complete investigation, the claimant was presented with the evidence.

0:32:410:32:46

It could have resulted in a criminal prosecution.

0:32:460:32:49

We didn't expect to find a level of activity that high for the symptoms that had been reported.

0:32:490:32:56

The individual concerned was 30 years of age, so would have been considered for payments up to the age of 65.

0:32:560:33:02

And without going into too much detail, it ran into hundreds and hundreds of thousands of pounds.

0:33:020:33:09

Tara's happy with the result. In the end, the claimant was offered the chance to withdraw her demand

0:33:090:33:15

and her payments have now stopped.

0:33:150:33:17

I reckon I could spot a fake horse when I see one and Lou here is definitely the real McCoy.

0:33:230:33:29

Hey, no offence, Lou. But a new scam is galloping through the equestrian world

0:33:290:33:34

and a lot of potential horse owners are really being taken for a ride.

0:33:340:33:38

Look away. It could be upsetting, Lou.

0:33:380:33:41

Tammy Tremain and her daughter Zoe have lived in Surrey for most of their lives.

0:33:420:33:48

You're such a good boy.

0:33:480:33:50

From almost as early as she remembers, she has had an interest in horses.

0:33:500:33:56

I would be at school and I would try and find somewhere where I could groom horses, just be around horses.

0:33:560:34:02

I just absolutely loved the animals. It's always been a dream of mine to own my own.

0:34:020:34:07

But it was only recently that circumstances meant she could try to turn her dreams into reality.

0:34:070:34:14

I had a public house with my partner. It had lots of land.

0:34:140:34:17

We built a stable. I had friends around the area as well with horses, so we just wanted to get out.

0:34:170:34:23

My little bit of freedom.

0:34:230:34:26

And this interest is something she shares with her daughter Zoe.

0:34:270:34:32

I'm extremely crazed. I just love them because they're just amazing animals.

0:34:320:34:37

You could do loads of things on them. You can jump. You can also like groom them

0:34:370:34:43

and stand there for hours and tell them secrets.

0:34:430:34:47

They're just such amazing things.

0:34:470:34:50

Mwah!

0:34:500:34:52

Increasingly, people have turned to the internet to buy anything from DVDs to TVs,

0:34:520:34:57

but now people are even using it to buy horses.

0:34:570:35:02

I knew what breed I wanted, so I just started looking.

0:35:020:35:06

I spent a couple of weeks looking at what was available, but my dream horse was the Friesian.

0:35:060:35:12

They're so beautiful, really long manes, the tails, big, fluffy boots.

0:35:120:35:16

They're jet black, absolutely gorgeous.

0:35:160:35:19

Looking on one popular horse site, Tammy found exactly what she was looking for.

0:35:190:35:24

It just looked absolutely beautiful. It was a dream come true for me and for my daughter.

0:35:240:35:30

We'd been looking for so long. This one really stood out.

0:35:300:35:34

It was very showy. Everything just seemed right.

0:35:340:35:38

So that's when I took up the contact.

0:35:380:35:41

Oh, hi there. I'm just enquiring about the advert

0:35:410:35:45

that you've got for a Friesian horse.

0:35:450:35:47

The owner told Tammy that he didn't even want money for the horse.

0:35:470:35:51

An accident had left his wife unable to ride, so he just wanted it to go to a good home.

0:35:510:35:57

And whereabouts are you?

0:35:570:35:58

All Tammy had to do was pay for the shipping costs from Northern Ireland. Zoe could hardly wait.

0:35:580:36:05

When my mum told me, I just couldn't believe my eyes.

0:36:050:36:08

It was the most beautiful horse I'd ever seen.

0:36:080:36:12

Tammy was still very cautious about the deal.

0:36:120:36:15

I got an address, telephone numbers. I did the Google Earth to check that the house did exist and it did.

0:36:150:36:21

I just checked every detail that he gave me on the internet

0:36:210:36:25

and that made me sure that I was being told the truth.

0:36:250:36:29

Even then, Tammy wasn't prepared to hand over her cash.

0:36:290:36:33

She wanted to double-check the seller's story.

0:36:330:36:37

I made my partner write an e-mail from his e-mail address to the person

0:36:370:36:43

and also another friend of mine just to check that it was legitimate

0:36:430:36:48

and he came back with both e-mails that were sent,

0:36:480:36:52

that the horse was no longer available, the deposit had been paid by a family in Surrey

0:36:520:36:58

and he was no longer for sale.

0:36:580:37:00

I had no reason to doubt him, to doubt anything really.

0:37:000:37:04

Tammy paid £350 to the owner.

0:37:040:37:08

But then he was back on the phone asking for more.

0:37:080:37:12

The second payment that I made had to be for the transportation cost

0:37:120:37:17

and the sedation

0:37:170:37:19

and also horse box hire once he had got over to the mainland.

0:37:190:37:25

It had gone on a couple of weeks and I really did believe what he was telling me.

0:37:250:37:30

As I've said, it was a childhood dream. I was getting the breed I wanted, you know, my dream horse,

0:37:300:37:36

so I just literally had to make that payment because I didn't want my dream to be lost.

0:37:360:37:43

Having checked out the usual costs of transportation and sedation,

0:37:430:37:47

Tammy made another payment of £350 to bring the total to £700,

0:37:470:37:53

then suddenly, the helpful seller went quiet.

0:37:530:37:57

The deal was fake.

0:37:570:37:59

I tried calling the number. He wouldn't pick up.

0:37:590:38:03

It was trying to keep the contact. I was sending polite e-mails,

0:38:030:38:07

"Please let me know what's happening, is the horse on his way?"

0:38:070:38:11

And eventually, it would be, "No, we need more money for an insurance."

0:38:110:38:17

It was the next thing. I repeatedly said, "You're not getting another penny out of me.

0:38:170:38:22

"I'm not paying any insurance. I'm not paying anything else."

0:38:220:38:26

I was getting quite upset at the fact that I'd held my side of the deal.

0:38:260:38:31

I didn't then believe I was going to get what I was promised,

0:38:310:38:36

so I think just then I had to think it was a scam.

0:38:360:38:41

The closest Tammy and Zoe come to horses now

0:38:460:38:49

is helping out their friends with their untrained, but very real New Forest ponies.

0:38:490:38:54

It has made me very wary.

0:38:540:38:57

I don't think I could trust anybody fully if I was going to buy something again like that.

0:38:570:39:02

In hindsight, I should have made the effort to go and check the horse out,

0:39:020:39:07

but it seemed such a good deal, it was the breed I wanted, my childhood dream was becoming a reality,

0:39:070:39:13

so it just all fell apart, really.

0:39:130:39:16

See you later.

0:39:160:39:18

The UK Border Agency team are on a tour of takeaways.

0:39:280:39:32

They're on the hunt for illegal workers who are using fake IDs.

0:39:330:39:37

He's not allowed behind the counter or in the back, so he'll have to leave when we leave.

0:39:370:39:42

They've been to a kebab shop and a curry house...

0:39:420:39:46

Do you just want to take a seat there for me? Thanks.

0:39:460:39:49

Sir, you might end up getting arrested.

0:39:490:39:53

But they're not stopping there.

0:39:530:39:56

The cook's not on the system. He could be in the country illegally.

0:39:560:40:00

No match on the quick scan again.

0:40:000:40:02

They've found some documents that seem to show he's appealing a deportation order.

0:40:020:40:08

We'll see what that comes back as, but he's admitted he's come in on a freight train.

0:40:080:40:13

So he's come in with no documents. No passport, no visa.

0:40:130:40:17

If someone fails to get asylum, it's unlikely that they've got permission to work.

0:40:170:40:22

He was refused asylum on the 27th of May, 2010.

0:40:220:40:26

He's regularly reporting to the Home Office. He last reported today.

0:40:260:40:30

-When's he next due?

-Next week. He's got no permission to work.

0:40:300:40:34

So it's three takeaways checked and three fake workers found.

0:40:340:40:38

But the Border Agency team have one more stop to make - a Chinese restaurant.

0:40:380:40:44

What are you doing in this country?

0:40:440:40:47

And in no time at all, they've found a suspicious story.

0:40:470:40:51

Has he ever applied for a visa to come to the United Kingdom?

0:40:580:41:02

SHE TRANSLATES

0:41:020:41:04

No.

0:41:080:41:09

A quick check on the fingerprint device confirms the chef is working illegally.

0:41:090:41:15

Every Chinese national has to have a visa to come to this country.

0:41:150:41:19

Kate has some inside information to help her get to the bottom of her guy's story.

0:41:190:41:24

Have you ever lived anywhere else in the United Kingdom other than Liverpool?

0:41:240:41:30

-Have you ever lived in Worcester?

-Where?

-Worcestershire?

0:41:300:41:34

Have you ever lived there?

0:41:340:41:36

-Worcester?

-Yeah. Have you ever lived in Worcestershire?

-Yeah, yeah.

0:41:360:41:42

-What's the address in Worcestershire?

-I forgot it.

0:41:420:41:45

Why can't you remember the address?

0:41:460:41:49

I just remember it's the High Street.

0:41:490:41:52

-What's it called?

-High Street.

-High Street?

-Yeah.

0:41:520:41:56

The High Street, Worcestershire? That's useful(!)

0:41:560:42:00

It's just not Kate's night.

0:42:000:42:02

But we have to, by law, serve this to you today.

0:42:020:42:06

The chippy boss is facing a £10,000 fine.

0:42:060:42:11

You get your husband to get you a good solicitor and you can have it out with the civil penalties team.

0:42:110:42:17

-We are not here to have it out with you. We are just here to serve this to you.

-But the problem is...

0:42:170:42:23

No, no, just take it, OK? And speak to a solicitor.

0:42:230:42:28

We've got three people at the takeaway. Two have been cleared.

0:42:280:42:32

This gentleman over here, it looks like he's come into the UK on a false passport.

0:42:320:42:38

My colleague is interviewing him now. We'll take his fingerprints, photo, then set him up on immigration bail.

0:42:380:42:44

All in all, it's been a good day for Joe and his team.

0:42:440:42:48

Thank you very much.

0:42:480:42:50

That's all from Fake Britain today. Bye for now.

0:42:550:42:58

Subtitles by Subtext for Red Bee Media Ltd 2011

0:43:200:43:24

Email [email protected]

0:43:240:43:27

We follow the UK Border Agency teams as they uncover illegal workers using fake documents to work in restaurants and takeaways in Liverpool. We visit Newquay in Cornwall and show the increasing problem of fake IDs used by underage drinkers - and we see how a trading standards team shut down a company supplying the fake identification online.

We meet the Suffolk businessman who fell for the fake overseas inheritance scam - which ultimately cost him his home and his life savings. We follow the work of an undercover insurance investigator as he tracks down a woman believed to be faking an insurance claim. And we meet the mother and daughter who thought they were buying their dream horse.


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