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This is the Real Hustle - Celebrity Scammers.
In this series, the hustlers carry out scams that are bigger,
tougher and more devious than ever before.
With the help of their celebrity friends, hustlers Alex, Jess
and Paul pull off the riskiest scams of all - long-cons.
Intricate webs of lies and deception designed to separate the unwary from their money.
On tonight's show, will Antony Costa bottle it?
-So you've got a lot of nervous energy, haven't you?
-I'm really nervous, yeah.
-Does Alex blow it with these girls?
-Oh, my God!
And will this guy get his answer?
Are they fraudsters, by any chance?
I need to know.
The hustlers have invited celebrity friends to help them carry out their long-cons.
They'll be thrown in at the deep end.
No training and no practice, just straight into the scam.
This week's guest hustler is former member of boy band Blue
and current member of reformed man-band Blue, Antony Costa.
I'm quite anxious more than anything. What the hustlers do is an amazing thing.
I'm a big fan of the show, so I've seen what they're capable of doing.
So, hopefully I'll be able to do it and be
part of the team today and pull off a genuinely good scam to teach people at home not to get scammed.
Antony has been told to go to a unit on this industrial estate and to wait for further instructions.
He's already nervous about today's scam, and what
Jess is about to tell him probably won't make him feel any better.
-Hi, how you doing?
-You all right?
-Come on in.
-Nice to meet you.
-Nice to see you.
-How are you doing? Come on through.
-How are you feeling?
-I just want to know what's going on.
-You'll be fine, don't worry. I'll explain everything to you.
-Basically, this is your warehouse.
-And you sell cheap booze.
-You sell cheap booze.
So you sell booze for wholesale prices and it's called TRH Imports.
Yeah? Simple so far.
-So Antony will be playing the role of a drinks wholesaler.
He'll need to sell his customers counterfeit brand-name vodka.
It's all part of a plan to rope them in for a bigger scam later today.
-Right, so this is where you're going to be making your sale.
We're not going to handle any of the cash. It's all down to you.
-I'm a bit scared of things like that.
Because I've never done anything like this.
So, I know you've got my back, but it's a bit like...
-You've got a lot of nervous energy, haven't you?
-I'm really nervous, yeah.
Basically this is going to start very soon now, so I'm going to leave you here.
And there's your desk.
You've got a cash flow there, so...
-I'm really nervous, man.
Some marks could be turning up at any moment,
so Antony will have to settle his nerves and get ready for Under The Influence.
Here are the marks. They've responded to an ad
for discounted wholesale drinks and have put in an order over the phone.
Antony puts on a wig and glasses to disguise his distinctive looks.
If he gets recognised, this scam is going nowhere.
-How you doing, mate, all right?
-Come for the delivery?
Yeah, hold on, mate, I'll just go and check the name. Egg!
-Are they ready?
Sounds like there's someone else working out back in the warehouse.
-Two boxes of vodka.
-All right, coming up.
Yeah, a couple of months ago.
There's a receipt. Let me go and check what they're doing.
There you go.
Yeah. Cheers, mate.
There you go, mate.
-Two boxes there.
-Ta very much.
-Oh, sod it, call it £200, man.
-There you go, mate.
£200 for two boxes of premium vodka is an amazing deal.
-Almost too good to be true.
-All right, mate? Thanks very much.
-Yeah, sweet as, mate.
Let me show you out.
-So far so good.
-Just go through that way.
-Antony sold the marks
their cut-price alcohol and crucially, he didn't get recognised.
And that mysterious guy in the warehouse was actually Alex.
In disguise in case the marks glimpsed him through the door.
He's about to meet them again straightaway and has
just moments to change clothes for the next part of this scam.
The marks leave happy with their discounted booze, but in just a few seconds,
they'll wish they had never set foot in TRH Imports.
Because just around the corner, there's a serious-looking official waiting to ruin their day.
Can I ask you both to step outside of the car?
-My name's Robert Marks.
I work for Trading Standards.
Comms check. I have the black BMW, RJ03 GNN.
Confirm, black BMW, RJ03 GNN.
-They've just been into the shop.
-I've got them.
The situation must be pretty serious, because here comes another Trading Standards officer.
Did you just purchase something from the import company around the corner?
All right, can I see the receipt if you have it?
All right, can I explain to you what's going on?
We're monitoring that company for illegal import and not paying duties.
They're also supplying people with counterfeit goods.
All right, can I ask what you bought?
Could you open up the...
The marks are not sure if they've broken the law themselves, so they do as they're told.
-Those two there. OK.
All right. I'll just fill this in.
-This is what he charged you?
Yeah, a bargain.
Did you guys have a look at it beforehand?
Are you the licence holder?
It's probably watered down again, look.
You can check that if you like.
A sniff test confirms there's hardly any alcohol in this vodka.
No wonder, because Jess poured most of the bottles' contents away earlier
and filled them up with tap water.
Not only have they been ripped off, they've also been caught taking watered-down spirits
to sell back in their pub. They could be in a lot of trouble.
-We're trying to build a case against him, all right?
Technically you've just bought unlicensed goods for a licensed premises.
What we'd like to do is, if you've only bought this much, it's not very good for us.
And what I'd like to do is take you to
another establishment nearby and we're going to try and use you to entrap them, OK?
The marks think they've taken part in an illegal transaction.
So, to clear their names, they've got no choice but to help these officials with their sting operation
and put crooked wholesaler Antony behind bars.
Of course, that sting operation is likely to be about as legit as a van full of watered-down vodka.
When hustlers go out, they don't bring money.
They go armed with prop bets.
The customers in this bar are about to be made an offer that's hard to refuse.
Win or lose a drink over a simple wager.
-But a prop bet only has one rule.
-Do you give up?
-And that's that the hustler always wins.
-To the bar!
-Drinks, please! Thank you.
-Alex is planning to make some new friends pay for his night out.
-Look, I want to show you something.
I had to buy this bottle, because they don't have this kind of wine. It's expensive taste, obviously.
Now, the idea is this. You need to make this bottle fall over.
-Just by blowing.
You can't touch the bottle.
Purely by the power of your breath.
So to win the bet, these guys have
to make this full bottle of wine fall over using their breath alone.
I think Helen, being a singer, is possibly the most qualified...
Yeah, my lungs are pretty...Yeah.
Because obviously she's got... I was going to say the lungs, but that's probably a bad choice of words.
-So, I'm going to say she's got the power, being a singer.
So I could sing a high note with...
That would be so impressive!
I would buy you drinks for the rest of your life.
-Because that would be a neat trick.
-SHE SINGS HIGH NOTE
No. OK, that's not going to work.
It would be so good if it just went, "crrrr", "crack".
I got you!
By the way, feel free to give up.
OK, I'm going to try...
-From the bottom.
-You're blowing at the top which is kind of quite thin.
-That's what I'm thinking.
-No, this isn't working.
-I don't think it even sort of nudged.
If I show you how it's done, you get me a drink.
Then next time you can do it to your friends and then
-you get drinks.
-And we can get drinks.
And I know you will be doing this. Right.
I do need...I do need one thing.
OK, put the bottle on the bag.
Now, I need you to just put your hands there because the bottle might go flying.
So, by the power of your breath make the bottle blow over. Ready?
Oh, my God!
Alex just stood the bottle on the edge of the paper bag it came in and blew.
Simple, if you know how.
An ordinary suburban street.
And an ordinary van belonging to TRH Satellite Solutions.
The only thing that's out of the ordinary is that these satellite engineers
don't actually have any customers.
Not yet, anyway.
This is The Satellite Switchoff.
What about this one? There's a big dish. Let's go for this one.
In this TV-loving nation, it doesn't take Alex and Paul long to find a home with a satellite dish outside.
Alex picks up his toolbox and gets to work.
But why would anyone need an engineer when there's nothing wrong with their satellite signal?
Someone in this house is about to find out.
-Hello there, good morning.
I'm a satellite engineer. We've had a report that they've switched you off?
Do you want to have a check? Yeah?
-That's all right.
Where is you're at? OK.
I've had a report that there was a problem with the payment of the bill.
This is the first the mark has heard about any problems
with her satellite TV, so she checks her signal.
Could you go into the menu for me and just have a look?
There, so that is just going. Let me just call the office.
Maybe they've made a mistake, in which case I can leave you alone.
Everything seems to be working normally.
Maybe there's nothing wrong with the account after all.
Yeah, I'm at number 18 and there is no disconnection at the moment.
Everything's working perfectly.
All right, they're saying the September bill has not
gone through and it is scheduled to be disconnected today.
-Well, I'm here and there's no disconnection.
the picture's gone.
Oh, OK, now it has gone.
And there's an error message on the screen.
So Alex was right - she has been cut off.
I'm with the lady now. Do you want to have a word with her?
He hands her over to a colleague in the accounts department to sort out this unfortunate mess.
But this lady's day has just gone from bad to worse,
because she's not really talking to the satellite company.
She's just been put through to Jess, back at Hustler HQ.
OK, well, I can see from my screen that your account hasn't actually been paid for three months
and you are scheduled for disconnection today, I'm afraid.
It's direct debit that normally pays it,
so I can't understand why it wouldn't have been paid.
Well, we have had a few account errors in the past where people
-have actually paid but it hasn't shown up on the screen.
Actually, I think there may have been a mistake.
It looks like your payments are actually up-to-date.
We can reconnect you but it's going to take a week if you go through the Investigation Department.
Right, OK. So I've got to go a week without Sky?
So, there's been some kind of mistake with the mark's account
and it's going to take a week to sort out. Unless...
Well, the other option is that we can reconnect you now,
but we are going to have to take your credit card details.
-She doesn't look convinced.
Under these circumstances, we're not going to take a payment from the card,
but we do need the card on file so that we can reconnect you.
OK. Bear with me one second, I'll just get my purse. One minute.
-Do you want me to hold onto that?
-Yeah. Do you want to take a seat. Sure.
Now happy that the reconnection fee won't actually be charged to her card, she goes to find her wallet.
-Hello there. If you could give me the long number on the front of the card, please.
-She gives Jess the necessary card details.
And lastly the three-digit security number on the back of your card.
That's wonderful. We should be reconnecting you within the next couple of hours.
Easy. One happy customer.
But she's just given her credit card details to a complete stranger on the phone.
All the information a criminal would need to run up thousands of pounds of debt on the mark's account.
Sorry about that.
-That's lovely. Thank you.
Time to get out of there.
Bye-bye. Have a good day.
It could turn out to be a very profitable day for these engineers,
driving around and looking for more houses with a satellite dish.
But how did Alex know that the lady's signal was about to go dead?
That's where Paul came in, who was loitering outside near the satellite dish.
He could just see inside the front room without being spotted.
There is no disconnection at the moment.
After giving Alex a pre-arranged 30 seconds, he used some pliers...
And just cut the satellite cable. It was as simple as that.
I feel a bit silly that I fell for him taking my credit card details.
But him being on the phone and having someone on the other end of the phone...
I did ask questions about it but it all seemed very, very real, I suppose.
This scam is so convincing for the marks. We've got Alex turning up in his uniform with a toolbox, and then
they're told that their satellite's going to get cut off and the next minute they're disconnected.
Don't be easily convinced by a name badge and some phoney credentials.
If someone turns up at your door unexpectedly,
call the company yourself with a number that you get from the phone book or from the internet.
Just don't use the number that they give you.
Earlier today, Antony Costa posed as a drinks wholesaler and sold these marks some watered-down vodka.
-Call it £200, man.
-There you go, mate.
The customers were then stopped outside by the hustlers...
-We're monitoring that company.
-..and persuaded to take part in a Trading Standards sting...
We're going to try and use you to entrap them, OK?
..to put crooked retailer Antony behind bars.
In Under The Influence, part two.
The hustlers have led the way to a rugby club just down the road.
This will be the location for the sting.
We're now in location.
Another officer is already waiting for them inside.
It's Jess, whose job it is to make it seem like
this place has been swarming with undercover officers and surveillance technicians until a few moments ago.
-How are we getting on?
-Hello. Yeah, great. Everything's finally got a great wide shot.
-Where are the boys?
-They're right there.
-So you've got a great shot, so the booze could go here.
So it sounds like the whole joint is wired with surveillance equipment.
-But you didn't get a look at...
-But how exactly are the marks going to help trap Antony?
-Is it ready?
-We need to get him on a sizeable amount of money.
In excess of £1,000.
If he is seen receiving that amount of money, we could put him in jail for over three years.
We're not going to proceed against you in any way or against your licensed property.
All we want you to do is make a purchase, knowing from us that you're
going to get that money back and that you're not keeping that stock.
That puts you completely in the clear. You guys can go home.
So they want them to put in a phone order with Antony...
-Get the money.
-And catch the delivery on camera as evidence.
They'll then arrest him on the spot and put him behind bars.
But the big question is, do the marks have any more money?
Is that your money or is that your employer's money?
OK. How much more money do you have on you?
They're so anxious to get themselves out of trouble...
..they never question why they should supply the funds for the sting operation.
-Yeah, there's not enough. Yeah.
Can you do that right now, please?
They make a call to their boss to see if they can get any more money.
Have you explained to him what's going on?
-As quickly as you can, please. That's great.
Things are looking up. One of the marks heads off to get the cash.
Just so you know, what we've done is we've got a hidden camera right here, OK?
That's going to see everything when he comes in.
Meanwhile, Paul points out a surveillance camera.
More proof that this whole set-up is legit.
He should want to deliver it quickly, because I think the cash goes straight into his pocket, frankly.
If he stays true to form, he'll be over here like a shot, OK?
Here comes the money.
The sting is on.
I'd like to do this on camera.
Susie, why don't you roll just now, please?
That's 1,000? That's lovely.
Alex and Paul only asked for £1,000.
But, to their delight, the marks now have £2,000 in cash.
-Well, the more amount of money we have, the stronger case we have.
-So if you have the cash here, that would be perfect.
-Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely.
In addition to the surveillance camera, the mark is also told he has to wear a wire.
I'm just going to give you this. Just drop it down there.
Ever done this sort of thing before, Neil?
The hustlers give the marks a drinks list that should come to the two grand mark.
-Time to make that call to Antony.
-Yeah, very good. Are you ready?
OK. That should be their number.
Hello, TRH Imports. Danny speaking, how may I help?
Hello, it's Neil. I just came up and picked up two crates of vodka off you.
-Oh, hello, Neil. How are you doing?
-The guest hustler sounds as nervous as the mark.
He can't let on that he knows all about the sting operation.
We've got a private party coming up here, mate.
-Can you do this delivery for me, ASAP if you can?
Well, I'm at the rugby club. That's where it's going to be.
But my landlord's coming down. It's a surprise one.
But if you could get it all here. I've got permission to put it here.
Absolutely fine, mate. What would you like to order?
Right, I want two champagne if you've got it.
-Right, OK, yeah.
The mark takes Antony through the sizeable order, as instructed.
-Tell us how much it's going to be.
-More than Antony was expecting.
-He quickly tots up the total.
It's going to come to about two grand.
-I've got the cash here, mate, if you want it?
I will see you there, mate.
-Cheers, bud. Thanks a lot, Dan. Bye-bye.
We're going to be in the room right next door and we're going to catch it all.
It's imperative that when he leaves, you guys need to stay in the room.
If you're present at the arrest, you have to fill in forms,
get implicated in the arrest as witnesses, you might be called to court.
-You don't want any of that stuff, OK?
The success of this scam is now all down to Antony.
The hustlers have done all they can, but he needs to go and take hold of that money.
-This money will definitely be back today?
-Oh, no doubt about it. No, he can't go anywhere with it.
-So stay there. Let him come to you.
HE MUMBLES BLEEP
All right, Dan. Yeah, mate.
-Antony's extremely nervous about scamming these guys, but mustn't let on.
And this guy is wearing a wire, thinking he's up against some kind of criminal mastermind.
He knows that the drinks are worthless, and Antony knows that he knows.
Each one trying to keep up the act.
Smart venue, isn't it, for a party?
There you go, mate.
Now it's time for the crucial moment.
-The marks have already been scammed by Antony once.
Will they really hand over two grand for booze they know is counterfeit?
-If there's anything that needs to be done, I'll go back and get it.
Yeah, that's all right.
Sweet. Cheers, mate.
They certainly will.
Antony leaves with the two grand of cold, hard cash.
The marks stay inside the building, just as they were told,
expecting Trading Standards and the police to rush onto the scene and arrest the crooked trader.
But the only rushing being done is by the hustlers,
who sneak out the back and into the conveniently parked Hustle van.
Meanwhile, Antony is free to drive off with all that money.
Unbelievable. Within two hours I've scammed just over £2,000. I can't believe it.
I felt so bad! I just wanted him to get out of that warehouse in the beginning, just like, "Yeah, yeah,
"the one-way street's fine," because I didn't want him to question me.
I probably would have flaked and gone, "Sorry, mate, there you go."
I'm going to be so careful in future.
It's taught me a lesson.
Back at the rugby club, 15 minutes of waiting in silence have become too much to bear for the marks.
I've got to go and find out.
They take a peek in one of the boxes.
Sure enough, it's full of cheap bottled water.
-don't believe that.
They already knew that Antony is a scam artist.
But suddenly the penny drops and they realise the whole horrible truth.
-They haven't gone? They haven't
-done us up completely, have they?
-I think we've been had over.
There are no officials with surveillance equipment in here.
It's just a tiny storeroom leading straight to the back exit.
Their worst fears are confirmed.
Not only were they sold £200-worth of counterfeit alcohol,
they fell for the exact same scam all over again.
-But this time for two grand.
They've just done us big time, Ed.
Are they fraudsters, by any chance?
I need to know, because what I've done is I've just...
I've just gone up to buy some alcohol and they've stopped me
from buying it saying, no, this is a dodgy place where I bought it from.
I'm lost for words here now.
Customs, what I thought were Customs, brought us down here.
Got some money and I've just passed all the money over... And...
That easy, is it?
Can I go and see that camera hole I was counting the money out
and see if there was a camera in there, please?
-It's a box.
-That camera is as fake as the whole sting operation.
It's just an empty box.
This is a very convincing situation for the marks, because Alex and Paul
are both dressed up as Trading Standards Officers so immediately look like they're in authority.
The marks don't really have much choice apart from to comply and do what they're told.
The authorities will never ask you as an individual
to part with your own money to help them catch somebody.
If they come to you legitimately and want you to help them to catch criminals,
they will tell you exactly what they want you to do and they will provide you with the resources to do it.
Never, ever, part with your own money in these circumstances.
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