Episode 4 The Real Hustle


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Episode 4

Dance act Diversity's front man Ashley Banjo goes undercover in an art scam. Paul and Polly show why you should never leave expensive camera equipment hanging around your neck.


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This is The Real Hustle: New Recruits.

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The hustlers are back and this time,

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they've brought in two new faces to help them with their scams,

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new recruits Polly and Jazz.

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They'll join original hustlers Paul,

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Jess and Alex.

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Working together as a team,

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they'll carry out scams that are more cunning and devious

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than ever before.

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On tonight's show, Paul and Polly do a bit of sightseeing...

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-Could you show her the way? I don't know my way around.

-Thank you.

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Shall we get drinks in?

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..Jazz challenges his new friends...

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You're only allowed to use one finger.

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..and dancer Ashley Banjo is having none of it.

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-5,000?

-5,000.

-£5,000.

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The hustlers have invited celebrity friends

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to help with their scams.

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They'll be thrown in at the deep end.

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No training and no practice, just straight in.

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Today's celebrity guest hustler is dancer

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and member of Britain's Got Talent winners Diversity, Ashley Banjo.

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I have no idea what to expect today.

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I might have to do something that I'm not used to doing or have to act,

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but I have no idea. I'm a big fan of the show. I can't wait to find out.

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I don't like to lose, I'm quite competitive.

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I like to be successful at whatever I do.

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Taking someone's money - I just want to do it,

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get it right, you know, and show that I can do this.

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Ashley has no idea what will be expected of him today.

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All he's been told is to stand outside this phone box and wait.

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PHONE RINGS

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Sounds like somebody's trying to get hold of him.

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-Hello?

-Is this Ashley Banjo?

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-It is indeed.

-Today's scam is going to start the moment you walk out

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of that telephone booth, OK?

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Your name from now on is going to be Fred Kelly.

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If you look across the street, you see a big yellow building -

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that's an art gallery.

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You are the owner of this art gallery.

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I want you to hang up,

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walk across the street and I'll meet you in the gallery. Bye.

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Ashley is about to get a briefing from a hustler.

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-Hey.

-Come in.

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-Welcome to your gallery.

-I like it.

-You own this.

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You are the master of the house in here.

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-So, let me tell you what we're going to do.

-OK.

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-This is where we'll take you out of the dancing world and into the art world.

-Right.

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-You have to sound like you know what you're talking about.

-OK.

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This is a new artist that you're exhibiting today.

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We'll try and convince these people that these paintings are worth a lot more than you're selling them for.

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-OK.

-All right, let's get ready.

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Can this dancer cut it in the art world?

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He's about to find out in the valuation.

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Helping Ashley to hold his first art exhibition is Jess,

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playing the role of the gallery assistant.

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KNOCKING ON DOOR

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It's not long before she welcomes her first visitors.

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Hello! Sorry, the buzzer's not working.

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This is the mark,

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who's been invited along to an exclusive private viewing.

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Here's a couple of leaflets for you to have a quick read up on.

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It's a new, young, up-and-coming artist

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called J Walker. No-one knows what the J stands for, though.

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It's a girl, so we all call her J Walker.

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Would you like some champagne?

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Yeah? Lovely.

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As you can see, it's modern art. And, erm...

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Yeah, feel free to have a look around.

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Time for Ashley to make his entrance.

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He's got no clue about the art world,

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and if the mark realises he's faking it,

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this scam will be over.

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-Hi, guys. How are you?

-Nice to meet you.

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Nice to meet you, mate. Fred Kelly.

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-So, welcome to the showroom.

-Thank you, yeah.

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I want you to have a look around and tell me if you enjoy the art.

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Anyone who goes to private gallery viewings

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must know something about art, certainly more than Ashley does.

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Will his bluffing skills hold up under questioning?

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I mean, I could, but it's all down to open interpretation,

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how you perceive it.

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There's something she was trying to portray with each painting.

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You were just looking at New Beginning.

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The painting's bright - it's a new beginning.

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It could even go back to the whole theory of the Big Bang.

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It would be interesting to see what you think.

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You should have a look and let me know.

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-OK, nice to speak to you guys.

-Very nice to meet you.

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He seems to have got away with it. Ashley leaves the couple to browse,

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just in time for some more visitors to arrive at the gallery.

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-Hello. Hi, come in.

-How are you?

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Good, thanks. It looks very cold out there.

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Yeah, it's not pleasant. Is Fred here?

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Yes, he's here.

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It's Paul, posing as the artist's manager.

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The mark is in luck because here's the artist herself, J Walker.

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It's actually Polly.

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The mark will be seeing her again later,

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so it's essential he doesn't get a good look at her face.

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See what I think?

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Seeing the artist in person adds a touch of glamour.

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J needs to make a couple of phone calls.

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-Do you mind if she uses your phone?

-Absolutely. Now?

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-I'll come and see you.

-No worries.

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She leaves manager Paul and gallery owner Ashley to talk business.

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-They've sent me the proofs today. This is what we're looking at.

-Wow.

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So, we've got a full page. It's a great piece.

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In this small space, the mark can't help overhearing.

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There's talk of a Sunday paper supplement

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featuring the paintings and the artist.

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You'll notice that this is actually the cover.

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Obviously, Childhood Dreams Number Six,

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is the one that gets the most interest.

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As you know, once the piece comes out,

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then we're looking at doubling, tripling the price.

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-The price?

-Yeah. Traditionally, that's what happens anyway.

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So, one particular painting is worth £1,550,

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but that magazine article should push the price way up.

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Gallery owner Ashley doesn't want to put the price up too soon.

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After all, the article isn't out yet.

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To be honest, I'm going to stop the conversation there

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because it's up for 1,550

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and that's as far as I'm willing to go, I think.

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I'll be honest, I think that was the right price - a week ago.

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Once again, the hustlers make sure the mark can't help overhearing.

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The price is the price and it's not going to go up any more.

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It's set at what it is.

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I'm not going to hike the price up due to one article.

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-5,000 is a fair price.

-5,000? £5,000?

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-It's going to be featured on the cover. Fred, come on.

-£5,000?

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-Yeah, of course.

-You're talking about timesing the price by four.

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How about we take it off the market?

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Leave it where it is, leave the price where it is, leave the conversation where it is.

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-I don't want to do this now.

-I understand, I understand.

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Guys, I've just got to speak to J for a moment

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but any questions, Rob represents J, so...

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How are you doing?

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Ashley goes off,

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leaving Paul to have a private chat with the mark.

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This is a piece that actually is getting her the most interest

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at the moment.

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It's kind of the thing that broke her out on the art scene.

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Paul talks up the star painting.

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When you start seeing the different edges of it...

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Some see different layers,

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they see layers by colour, layers by patterns,

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but I guarantee this piece is worth 5,000 by Monday morning.

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He doesn't want to increase the value which means he probably has an investor in mind,

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which is what a gallery owner will do.

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Yeah, so he probably just wants to pass it on to an investor

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because it makes him look great.

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He'll make more commission on the back end

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cos he gets commission from its second sale, too.

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Paul doesn't trust gallery owner Ashley.

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If the painting is going to go cheap,

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he'd prefer it to go to an art lover, like the mark.

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All I want is that piece doesn't sell

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within that sort of world of people that just buy art and stick it away.

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We're not interested in the money.

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So long as somebody buys it

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who's outwith that private network of people who hide art.

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So, will he buy it?

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If you're interested...

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He's not buying a painting he's only just seen.

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But Paul has another trick up his sleeve.

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Would you be interested in having that piece valued?

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If he gets a professional valuation,

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it might convince him it's a good investment.

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Because of this... Because of this article,

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-the value of this piece is going to increase three, maybe four times.

-Yeah, fair enough.

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If I said it'll double your money in a week,

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that would be a vast, vast underestimate.

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He's interested.

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You go to the valuer's office, show him the work of art.

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He will tell you what he thinks it's worth.

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So, the mark is going to book a professional valuation.

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Paul helpfully gives him the number of an art company.

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Thank you, bye.

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Erm, I'll cancel something, but that's OK for me.

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So the appointment is made for later that day.

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But what are the hustlers up to?

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A professional art valuer will smell a rat

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the moment the hustlers walk through the door.

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All right? And I will see you in a few hours.

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The mark heads off with his girlfriend,

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not knowing he'll be paying for that glass of champagne

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a hundred times over before the day is out.

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It's cruel. To be put in this position is quite cruel.

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When hustlers go out, they don't bring money,

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they bring prop bets -

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challenges designed to win or lose a drink.

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But a proposition bet only has one rule,

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and that's that the hustler always wins.

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New boy Jazz is out on the town,

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and he knows a hustler never buys his own drinks.

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-Shall we get some drinks in?

-Yeah.

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We're going to do a little competition for it, a challenge.

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If you can do it, then I get you the drinks.

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If I can do it, you get me the drinks.

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-OK.

-OK.

-OK, I'll show you.

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OK, what we have here -

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beer bottle...

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..£10 note and a coin.

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What you have to do is, using one finger,

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get the note from under the coin

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-and you're only allowed to use one finger.

-It's impossible!

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Give it a try.

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You might get some free drinks out of it.

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So, to avoid buying Jazz a drink,

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his new friends need to remove the note from the bottle,

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leaving the £2 coin in place.

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But they're only allowed to use one finger.

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One finger?

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One finger. One finger only.

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-Not two!

-Watch the thumb!

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-I can't do it.

-Want to try one?

-You try.

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As long as you're using one finger, give it a go.

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-Close!

-Right, shall I show you?

-Yeah.

-Go on.

-OK.

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Ready? One finger, no out, and the coin stays on.

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-Wa-hey!

-There you go!

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Jazz licks his finger. That's the secret.

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He then gives the note a quick, sharp tap,

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which pulls it out, and leaves the coin on top.

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Easy when you know how.

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Paul has taken new hustler Polly out for a spot of sightseeing.

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Unfortunately, Paul's sense of direction seems to be on the blink.

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I think sometimes it's nearer Church.

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Neither of them has any clue where they're going.

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-Where is the cathedral, then?

-I have no idea!

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In The Twist.

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Maybe one of these guys can show them the way.

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Sorry, no.

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Excuse me? Excuse me? Do you know your way around here?

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I'm looking for Calton Road.

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Where are we here?

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So, we're here.

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-Could you show her the way? Cos I don't know my way around.

-All right, thank you.

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-So, is it literally along here...?

-Problem solved.

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Paul's got somewhere else to be.

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Of course, these hustlers are never off duty.

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I'm looking for Calton Road.

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They weren't really lost.

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They just wanted all eyes on the map

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to hide this.

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Paul's hand, coming up to grab the mark's camera

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hanging around his neck.

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So, what's this?

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With the gentlest of touches, Paul pushed the release button,

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twisted his hand,

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and pocketed the mark's camera lens.

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This way?

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Here it is again.

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Straight along there.

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Could you show her the way? Cos I don't know my way around.

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All right, thank you. So, is it literally along here?

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Before the theft was discovered, Paul went on his way,

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and by the time the mark noticed his photographic problem,

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his lens was long gone.

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A camera can be worth a lot of money.

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But a good lens will cost hundreds, even thousands, of pounds,

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and it's much easier for pickpockets to lift.

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But why steal one lens when you can have a whole selection?

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Sorry, I have no idea. I'm from London.

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-This guy is being very suspicious.

-So, where are we now? We are somewhere...

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He's even resting his elbow on the lens.

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No way for Paul to steal it, so he moves on.

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But no such precautions from the hustlers' other customers.

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It's around here-ish.

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Paul is making his move in the open.

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But none of his actions draw any attention

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from members of the public.

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-You've got the galleries.

-The galleries? Sorry, I have...

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It's my first day here. I have no idea.

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Excuse me?

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-Does anyone know where the cathedral is?

-Sorry, I'm not so sure.

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-That's Buchanan Street. We're here.

-This is Queen Street, isn't it?

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Buchanan Street's behind us, so Queen Street...

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-Queen Street Station...

-Queen Street.

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-How would you...?

-Hello?

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Yeah, I'm just in sight. Hold on.

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The marks are left with cameras around their necks,

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but they won't be taking any photos today.

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Is it not very clear, this map or something?

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Calton Road. So, if I go along there and head that way, so along there.

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Yeah? Is that all right?

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Lovely.

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OK, thank you.

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I didn't realise until I started walking to show her,

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then I looked down and it had gone.

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I was talking to this tourist and he just nicked my lens

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and just legged it.

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£700 worth of camera.

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I still owe £600 on it!

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All right, thanks for your help, though. Cheers!

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Some hadn't even noticed their lens was gone.

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This is from his college. It's the first time I've...

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Do you know where that went?

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What are we going to do with the rest of the day? It's lovely.

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Let's do some shopping.

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-I do need a camera for my lens.

-Perfect!

-Yeah.

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This scam works because people hang their cameras around their necks and forget about them.

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It gives them a false sense of security,

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knowing that the gadget is physically attached to them.

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But some lenses

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are much more expensive than the cameras themselves,

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and much easier to steal.

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Very often, when we're out with our cameras,

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it's the time when we're most relaxed.

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We're enjoying some free time, we're sightseeing.

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Often, we're in crowded areas.

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That's when you're most vulnerable.

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If you feel somebody brushing against you, see what's happening,

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and try and remember to keep your camera in front of you.

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Earlier today, Diversity's Ashley Banjo

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played the role of a gallery owner selling paintings

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from a hot new artist.

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Talking about how bright the painting is, it's a new beginning.

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You can even go back to the whole theory of the Big Bang.

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The mark thinks the painting, valued at £1,550,

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will rocket in price

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because it's about to be featured in a Sunday paper supplement.

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A full page,

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and you notice that this is actually a cover.

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He's arranged to take it for a professional valuation.

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It's later that evening. The mark and his girlfriend are on their way

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to an art valuation company.

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But before they can set foot in the place,

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they're intercepted by Polly.

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-Are you here to see Mr Belfridge?

-Yes.

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The mark has already seen her earlier, as the artist J Walker.

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If he recognises her, the whole scam will be off.

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It's fully booked, so we'll go to the viewing room across the road,

0:19:470:19:50

-a nice little hotel.

-OK, yeah.

0:19:500:19:52

It's not far. It's just down here. It's really lovely.

0:19:520:19:55

Before the mark can get a clear look at her, they head off,

0:19:550:19:57

running straight into Paul...

0:19:570:19:59

-Nice to see you.

-..carrying the painting.

0:19:590:20:02

Almost very, very late.

0:20:020:20:04

Oh, no, that's OK. Good timing, actually, yeah.

0:20:040:20:07

They cross over the road to a hotel for the meeting.

0:20:080:20:11

So, I've set it all up here.

0:20:170:20:19

Polly gets the painting out, ready for the valuer.

0:20:190:20:22

There's just one tiny problem. The valuation appointment was booked

0:20:290:20:32

using a phone number supplied by Paul.

0:20:320:20:34

So, I'll give you the number.

0:20:340:20:37

I would call them now, if you can.

0:20:370:20:40

The mark was actually talking to Jess, standing in the next room.

0:20:470:20:51

He could fit you in at 5 o' clock, is that going to be OK?

0:20:510:20:54

Yeah.

0:20:540:20:55

She give him the address of a real art valuation company.

0:20:550:20:59

Meeting outside that genuine shopfront

0:20:590:21:01

made the whole setup seem legit.

0:21:010:21:03

It's fully booked, so we'll go to the viewing room across the road.

0:21:030:21:07

It's a nice little hotel, OK?

0:21:070:21:08

Back in the hotel, here he is, Mr Belfridge, the art expert.

0:21:100:21:16

Expect in scamming, more like.

0:21:160:21:18

Like any respectable professional,

0:21:200:21:22

Alex has a business card.

0:21:220:21:24

The card looks professional enough.

0:21:250:21:28

That's because he got it from the real valuation company,

0:21:280:21:32

whilst the mark was walking to the hotel.

0:21:320:21:34

Ah, a J Walker. Excellent.

0:21:400:21:43

You're familiar with J's work, I'm assuming?

0:21:430:21:46

Yes, this is Childhood Dreams Number Six, yes?

0:21:460:21:49

What's fantastic about what she has is the childlike playfulness

0:21:490:21:53

that she brings out through the painting.

0:21:530:21:57

There's different emotions on the different corners.

0:21:570:22:00

Happiness has gone into this.

0:22:000:22:01

There's a lot of energy and childlike quality that comes through.

0:22:010:22:06

Obviously, the splashings are...

0:22:060:22:08

You know, they give it that movement that you need.

0:22:080:22:11

I know that what she does,

0:22:110:22:13

sometimes, she lets it dry on one side,

0:22:130:22:15

she'll let the painted dribble, as you can see here.

0:22:150:22:18

You get these traces of paint, and here, going this way.

0:22:180:22:22

So, what's that painting really worth?

0:22:220:22:25

If I was to give you a valuation for what it's worth today,

0:22:250:22:31

I would say that you should be asking somewhere between 3.5 and 4

0:22:310:22:35

for something like this. Now, after...

0:22:350:22:37

You're looking at going higher.

0:22:390:22:41

You're looking at 20, 25, because the hype will bring it up there.

0:22:410:22:47

The evaluation is much higher than the mark imagined.

0:22:470:22:51

There's even talk of hiring it out for exhibitions,

0:22:510:22:54

which would make him even more money.

0:22:540:22:56

If this does a year on tour,

0:22:560:22:59

then you will be looking at a lot of value,

0:22:590:23:04

going up and up and up. Where that value will end -

0:23:040:23:07

who's to say? Art is a fickle thing.

0:23:070:23:10

But, at the moment, you should be looking at 3.5 to 4,000.

0:23:100:23:14

Alex has given his appraisal.

0:23:140:23:18

But has he done enough to persuade the mark

0:23:180:23:20

this is a fantastic investment?

0:23:200:23:22

-So, would you be thinking on investing, possibly?

-Yeah, I mean...

0:23:220:23:25

But all things aside, financially,

0:23:250:23:29

I wouldn't take for granted for the fact that you valued it at 3,500

0:23:290:23:34

and, yeah, possibly in a week, it could be worth a lot more.

0:23:340:23:37

We've got to buy

0:23:370:23:39

as if to say it is £1,500.

0:23:390:23:42

The market seems reluctant to spend £1,550

0:23:420:23:45

based purely on what that painting might be worth in the future.

0:23:450:23:50

-I found Mr Kelly outside.

-Oh, hi!

0:23:500:23:52

Ashley has been listening from outside the door.

0:23:520:23:55

The talk of the selling price is his prearranged cue

0:23:550:23:58

to come back in for some final persuasion.

0:23:580:24:01

He's going to claim that he's got another buyer lined up,

0:24:010:24:05

so the mark will have to act fast.

0:24:050:24:07

-I've got people very interested.

-I'm sure you do.

0:24:070:24:10

I think we all know that

0:24:100:24:12

she's potentially one of the bright young stars

0:24:120:24:14

of British modern art.

0:24:140:24:16

-Why don't we vacate the room?

-Yeah, OK.

0:24:160:24:21

The mark is left to wonder whether this really is a good investment.

0:24:260:24:30

But, before any doubt sets in,

0:24:360:24:38

the hustlers return to seal the deal.

0:24:380:24:41

Fred and I have had a discussion and sorted a few things out.

0:24:410:24:44

Absolutely, if you wish to buy the piece,

0:24:440:24:46

you get it at the price as set today.

0:24:460:24:49

It would be your painting and it doesn't go back on the wall.

0:24:560:24:58

He's interested.

0:24:580:25:00

Can Ashley convince him the whole deal is above board?

0:25:000:25:03

You would have the receipt.

0:25:070:25:08

You can stop by at the showroom, pick up anything you want, any proof. You know where it is. It's there.

0:25:080:25:13

Will the mark really buy a painting from people he's only just met?

0:25:130:25:18

Yeah, I mean, I've got a receipt book with me, so...

0:25:280:25:31

-All right, let's do it, then.

-Kerching.

0:25:330:25:35

OK, great, let's do it. So, who am I making the receipt to?

0:25:350:25:39

-What's your full name?

-And there's the money.

0:25:390:25:42

Ashley takes more than £1,500 in cash

0:25:430:25:46

and writes out a receipt from a company that doesn't exist.

0:25:460:25:50

Thank you so much. I was very delighted to meet you today.

0:25:500:25:53

That was lucky for us.

0:25:530:25:55

The mark leaves happy that he's got himself a great deal.

0:25:580:26:00

The painting will be worth thousands

0:26:000:26:02

as soon as the Sunday supplement comes out.

0:26:020:26:05

Actually, no, it won't.

0:26:070:26:09

There is no article and there is no hot new artist called J Walker.

0:26:110:26:16

All the paintings in the gallery were created by a bunch of kids,

0:26:180:26:21

throwing around cheap paint.

0:26:210:26:23

Go for it!

0:26:250:26:26

-This one's brilliant!

-Good.

0:26:260:26:29

Not so much priceless as worthless.

0:26:310:26:35

You've done really well. This will sell for a lot of money.

0:26:350:26:39

CHEERING

0:26:390:26:40

We showed the mark footage of his masterpiece being created.

0:26:400:26:44

Children. It's a complete hoax.

0:26:440:26:48

I wasn't happy that we got taken to the hotel,

0:26:480:26:50

but the hotel was nice

0:26:500:26:52

and the fact that they already had a picture stand up

0:26:520:26:55

and it just looked fine, to me.

0:26:550:26:58

I didn't think anything of it.

0:26:580:27:00

It's cruel, to be honest. To be put in this position is quite cruel.

0:27:000:27:04

It was kind of scary to think that kind of thing goes on every day.

0:27:040:27:08

I met those people today. It wasn't like we'd been planning this for months or weeks.

0:27:080:27:12

I found out about the scam 15 minutes before I met those people.

0:27:120:27:16

I put on a suit, some glasses, I took my cap off,

0:27:160:27:19

I came downstairs, I came back here an hour later

0:27:190:27:22

and I've got £1,500.

0:27:220:27:24

This whole setup is designed to separate a mark from his money.

0:27:270:27:31

A realistic gallery,

0:27:310:27:33

a trendy artist and an art expert are all added for authenticity.

0:27:330:27:37

You don't have to be an expert to buy art,

0:27:370:27:39

but you should do your homework.

0:27:390:27:41

Don't buy a painting by someone you've never heard of

0:27:410:27:43

from someone you've only just met

0:27:430:27:45

and always check out the credentials

0:27:450:27:48

of anyone claiming to be an expert in the field,

0:27:480:27:51

because advice from a hustler can end up costing you a lot of money.

0:27:510:27:54

If you want to know more about how the show is made, go to...

0:28:020:28:05

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:28:260:28:29

E-mail [email protected]

0:28:290:28:33

Hustlers Jess Clement, Alexis Conran and Paul Wilson have recruited two new faces to help them expose cons and crimes that catch the public out on a daily basis. Novice hustlers Polly Parsons and Jazz Lintott have to learn the art of deception in record time, as they join the original trio and help them carry out the most devious scams to date.

Dance act Diversity's front man Ashley Banjo swaps the dancefloor for an art gallery as he goes undercover in The Valuation. Together with the hustlers he must persuade a mark that a painting by a hot new artist will triple in price in the next few days, and that it is a once in a lifetime investment.

Paul and new hustler Polly demonstrate why you should never leave expensive camera equipment hanging around your neck when there are scammers about.